This Mindset Matters column is the first in a series to enter a conversation with readers about how the lived experience of disability is shedding light on key aspects of management strategies that are vital for sustained growth in an evolving business culture. This series will begin with theory and continue to lay the groundwork in various practice areas around corporate reinvention and the importance of social intelligence in the future of work.
In this new year, businesses are continuing to look for a competitive edge that will position their organization to be more intentional around areas from talent management, and upskilling, to various management practices. These very mechanics should be the standard bearer by which successful organizations can be responsible in this 21st Century economic climate. Yet, with the seismic shifts happening within the future of work, how can businesses achieve these goals, and figure out the right balance that is essential for the growth of today’s business from mental health to performance, to motivation?
It is here once again that organizations need to look towards the disability narrative to find a more effective solution in defining business practice. A key aspect of the lived experience of disability has been founded on the premise of integrative thinking. The rationale for this style of logic is built on a process of integrating intuition, reasoning, and imagination to create a holistic continuum of tactics, strategy, and action. This alchemy of ideas provides a gateway to effectively improve upon what is needed in and around the fundamental elements of work to enhance long-term growth.
Stepping into 2023, organizations need to think strategically when it comes to human capital needs and ask the question, what are the fundamental building blocks that will define a business for the next century? As technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, there will be countless jobs that currently do not exist that will start appearing across the business landscape over the next century. However, the throughline will be the demand for organizations to continue to be aware of one’s human needs.
The integrative thinking approach offers businesses an innovative way to handle human capital needs while keeping up with the continuing evolution of the world of work by focusing on salient issues and emphasizing alternative views that can provide multiple options for solving difficult problems. Given the challenges of the lived experience of disability, one often needs various solutions, and by using an integrative approach, an organization can find a beneficial way to embrace complex problems.
Rather than looking at a problem piecemeal, but keeping the whole problem in view, integrative thinking provides a platform for more effective creative solutions. As the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto sees it, integrative thinking is “… the ability to constructively face the tensions of opposing models, and instead of choosing one at the expense of the other, generating a creative resolution of the tension in the form of a new model that contains elements of the individual models, but is superior to each.”
It is this resolution that can help businesses confront the tasks that are ahead of them in the most resourceful way and utilize their creative muscle to enhance their organizational direction. However, integrating the lived experience of disability within the process of management practice serves as an additional layer of support that can ultimately help drive an organization forward.
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