Roger Martin: How Leaders Facilitate Great Choices, Episode #26

One of the roles great leaders play is the facilitation of great choices across their organizations. That means it’s not just about the leader themselves being skilled at making choices, but also about their ability to transfer that skill to the members of their team. Roger Martin is a pioneer in the realm of integrative thinking, an approach to problem-solving that uses opposing ideas as the basis for innovation. In this conversation, Roger and I speak about his new book, “Creating Great Choices” and how leaders and managers can build amazing teams of people who make the very best choices every time.

We Can Now Code Our Knowledge To Apply It More Efficiently. But Should We?

With so much talk about A.I (artificial intelligence) and the reality of it growing almost daily, it’s easy to think that the day will come when human contributions will be marginalized in favor of more precise, computer learning alternatives. But Roger Martin makes the point that just because some choices can be turned into algorithms, doesn’t mean they should be. There is and will always be a need for a human touch in a number of contexts where the savvy and intuition needed to make great choices simply can’t be applied via computer code. Join me to learn how Roger sees A.I. benefiting mankind and to hear where he has concerns, on this episode.

Modern digital narcissism is of great concern to Roger Martin

In making the point that not all problems should be solved via code or algorithm, Roger points to instances where the implementation of technology that allows for self-driving cars has cost the lives of people. His concern is that in our zeal to make solutions of that kind we will continue to put individuals at risk instead of recognizing that the solutions as they are currently being applied are unacceptable. He calls it modern digital narcissism and cautions against it. Listen to my conversation with Roger to hear what he recommends as a better way forward, on this episode of Masters of Leadership.

There Are No Natural-Born Managers. Greatness Comes Over Time

When it comes to those who are managing people in the workplace, Roger suggests that in order to grow, today’s leaders have to avoid the two pitfalls common to most leaders: #1 – Don’t be so perfectionistic as to think that you can’t try something you don’t know how to do yet. If you fail, that’s not on you, that’s on life. #2 – Use the opportunity to grow by asking key questions: What did you think was going to happen? What really happened? What caused it to happen? Was there bias or preconceived assumptions involved in producing the outcome? Learning to try new things and grow from those attempts is the best way to develop greatness in decision making.

Anybody Can Have Something Unbelievably Expert About Them

It’s important to realize that the contributions needed in order to overcome unacceptable or seemingly insurmountable obstacles hardly ever come through the ingenuity of one person. Collaboration is how great things are accomplished. Roger cautions: Never dismiss someone because of A, B, and C, because D may be spectacular. If you write them off before discovering the areas where they have unbelievable knowledge or expertise, you are robbing the entire collaborative effort of its power. Roger’s insights are valuable for leaders at any level, so be sure you take the time to listen.

Anybody can have something unbelievably expert about them. Don’t overlook them. @RogerLMartin explains how #collaboration and #leadership utilize the gifts of a team, on episode 26 of #MastersOfLeadership with @EDhawan. ##getbigthingsdone

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:29] Leadership defined from Roger’s perspective
  • [3:15] The most important elements of Roger’s newest book, “Creating Great Choices”
  • [7:12] Why models shape what we see in the world
  • [11:58] How the digital/virtual workplace impacts the questions leaders need to ask
  • [19:11] Actions today’s leaders should be taking

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