"Any situation has a certain number of alternatives, but if
you are doing system thinking, even for a complex problem, & you realise what is the system, what are the subsystems, what are the sub-subsystems, & you define their interrelationship as well as you can, you will start seeing some daylight, how to get out of it. The complexity - if you have some logical inputs & also have a system structure - I don't think it looks that bad."
~ F C Kohli, founder of the Indian software giant, Tata Consultancy Services, & the man often called the father of the Indian software industry, as he offers encouragement to anyone facing a complex problem;
[Source: 'The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking', by Roger Martin;
To me, this is one of the best books on problem solving with integrative thinking. I like the author's definition of integrative thinking:
"... the ability to face constructively the tension of opposing ideas &, instead of choosing one at the expense of the other, generate a creative resolution of the tension in the form of a new idea that contains elements of the opposing idea but is superior to each..."
I also like the author's illustration of Thomas Chamberlain's "multiple working hypotheses" (1890), in contrast to the conventional "scientific thinking" process.
Nonetheless, in the entertaining book, he also outlines three most powerful tools at the disposal of integrative thinkers:
- generative reasoning;
- causal modeling;
- assertive inquiry;
Highly recommended for your reading pursuit!
By the way, more information about integrative thinking is available from the author's corporate website.]