Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of TorontoBook Speaker
"Instead of focusing on what exceptional leaders do," Roger Martin says, "we need to understand and emulate how they think." And, if you study them closely, many of today's exceptional leaders—from AG Lafley of Proctor and Gamble to Meg Whitman of eBay—practice Martin's form of Integrative Thinking; a big picture approach which takes into account the fact that, at top levels of management, problems rarely fall neatly into segregated categories. He's also an advocate of Design Thinking—a concept that balances analytical thought processes with intuitive thinking. With Martin's expert guidance, these two schools of thought can be successfully learned and implemented.
Most recently, Martin's book, Fixing the Game, has taken lessons from the National Football League and applied them to a critical issue facing American capitalism: that increasing shareholder value is the ultimate job of any company. Martin was also named one of the Top Ten Business School Teachers in the World by Business Week. Meanwhile, his book, The Opposable Mind, was named one of the Top Ten Business Books of the Year by The Globe and Mail. Since joining Rotman in 1998, the school has rocketed up worldwide MBA rankings, while never being surpassed. The late Peter Drucker said, "What the Rotman School is doing may be the most important thing happening in management education today."
Fixing the Game
American capitalism is in dire straits, caught in a perilous pattern of increasing volatility, decreasing investor returns, and ongoing bad behavior by executives. And it's getting worse. Since the turn of the twenty-first century, we've seen two massive value-destroying market meltdowns and a string of ethics breaches, including accounting scandals, options-backdating schemes, and the subprime mortgage debacle. Just what is going on here? Is it the inevitable decline of the American economy? Is it the new normal in a technology-enabled global marketplace? Or is it possible that the very theories we've embraced to underpin our capital markets are actually producing these crises?
In Fixing the Game, Roger Martin reveals the culprit behind the sorry state of American capitalism: our deep and abiding commitment to the idea that the purpose of the firm is to maximize shareholder value. This theory has led to a massive growth in stock-based compensation for executives and, through this, to a naive and wrongheaded linking of the real market-- the business of designing, making, and selling products and services-- with the expectations market-- the business of trading stocks, options, and complex derivatives. Martin shows how this tight coupling has been engineered and lays out its results: a single-minded focus on the expectations market that will continue driving us from crisis to crisis-- unless we act now. Using the National Football League as his primary example, Martin illustrates that it is possible to take a much more thoughtful and effective approach than we now do to the intersection of the real and the expectations markets and to governance in general in the capital markets.
Martin shows how we can act to end the destructive cycle. Concise, hard-hitting, and entertaining, Fixing the Game advocates seizing American capitalism from the jaws of the expectations market and planting it firmly in the real market-- and it presents the steps we must take now to do so.
The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage
Most companies today have innovation envy. They yearn to come up with a game-changing innovation like Apple's iPod, or create an entirely new category like Facebook. Many make genuine efforts to be innovative-they spend on R&D, bring in creative designers, hire innovation consultants. But they get disappointing results. Why? In The Design of Business, Roger Martin offers a compelling and provocative answer: we rely far too exclusively on analytical thinking, which merely refines current knowledge, producing small improvements to the status quo.
To innovate and win, companies need design thinking. This form of thinking is rooted in how knowledge advances from one stage to another-from mystery (something we can't explain) to heuristic (a rule of thumb that guides us toward solution) to algorithm (a predictable formula for producing an answer) to code (when the formula becomes so predictable it can be fully automated). As knowledge advances across the stages, productivity grows and costs drop-creating massive value for companies. Martin shows how leading companies such as Procter & Gamble, Cirque du Soleil, RIM, and others use design thinking to push knowledge through the stages in ways that produce breakthrough innovations and competitive advantage. Filled with deep insights and fresh perspectives, The Design of Business reveals the true foundation of successful, profitable innovation.
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