Peter Drucker Forum 2013: “Rising Above Inter-Domain Complexity” by Roger L. Martin

Roger L. Martin

During the last session of the 5th Global Peter Drucker Forum, Roger Martin, Academic Director at the Martin Prosperity Institute of the Rotman School of Management, began his talk with a Scientific American of 1868 showing the telegraph and railroads, which says that in no other period had there been so much transformation and change.

Humanity tends to argue that things are unprecedented and has never been seen before, this is a phenomenon we now see when discussing complexity. Roger Martin personally has doubts as to whether the world is becoming more complex. He thinks that everything in life starts a mystery and we then gradually find truth and begin to explain things.

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The world has always featured high levels of detail and dynamic complexity. We tend to deal with dynamic complexity by minimizing the detailed complexity by doing so, our approach to deal with complexity causes more complexity and then we blame complexity and not the approach.

By creating silos for research we create problematic levels of inter-domain complexity and then conclude that we are lucky that we are dealing with the complexity. Instead, we should sack the approach because it is in actual fact the approach that is causing the problem.

As soon as you have different systems you will have inter-domain complexity.

One productive way of dealing with the self-inflicted problem of inter-domain complexity, we need a meta-domain. This domain should be one of knowledge in how to integrate across knowledge domains. Unfortunately, we don’t teach students how to deal with this through integrative thinking, as most business professors want scientific processes and integrative thinking. If we want good leaders, we need to train students how to have integrative thinking. Great leaders have this ability. Therefore, it is time to recognize that our approach is flawed and to do something about it.

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martinrogerl_170pxRoger L. Martin (CA)

Academic Director, Martin Prosperity Institute, Rotman School of Management

Roger Martin is the Premier’s Research Chair in Productivity and Competitiveness and Academic Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management.  He served as dean of the Rotman School from1998 until.  Previously, he spent 13 years as a Director of Monitor Company, a global strategy consulting firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he served as co-head of the firm for two years.
In 2011, Roger placed 6th on the Thinkers50 list, a biannual ranking of the most influential global business thinkers, sharing the top ten with Clay Christensen, Michael Porter and Malcolm Gladwell, among others.  In 2010, he was named one of the 27 most influential designers in the world by Business Week.  In 2007 he was named a Business Week ‘B-School All-Star’ for being one of the 10 most influential business professors in the world. Business Week also named him one of seven ‘Innovation Gurus’ in 2005.

1 Comment

Filed under Behavior, Business, Business Schools, Conference, Corporate Behavior, Higher Education, Innovation, Leadership, Management, Peter Drucker Forum, Sociology

One response to “Peter Drucker Forum 2013: “Rising Above Inter-Domain Complexity” by Roger L. Martin

  1. Pingback: My 2014 Toronto Drucker Days

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