Some say that the power affects the world view and I agree!
Some experiments show that people in a position of power shows to have patterns of behavior usually associated with fault zones of the cerebral cortex that control the empathy and the ability to imagine the world from the point of view of others .
The power destroys the ability to understand that there are other perspectives in addition to the hierarchy. The hierarchy works like a waterfall.
But there is no easy cure for the paradox of power.
Keltner argues that “the best treatment is transparency, and that the worst abuses of power can be prevented when people know they are being monitored. This suggests that the mere existence of a guard dog or a regulatory active directory may help deter people from doing bad things.
However, people in power tend to reliably overestimate their moral virtue, which leads them to stifle oversight” Lehrer
“Integrative Thinking has become an essential component of the training and development program for our most senior managers at P&G. Our executives are able to take the lessons of integrative thinking back to their jobs with them, putting the tools into action to solve the thorniest issues in their businesses.”
How integrative thinking can help managers and holders of power to look into the “world” and for people as an important part in their decisions ?
Design Thinking is the application of Integrative thinking
Look at the Integrative Thinking as “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 both models, but is superior to each.” Rotman
What happens in traditional hierarchical models of organizations, when it comes to using power to make decisions, is the constant use of the authority of a function to analyze a problem and eliminate some factors to consider, thus relieving the stress of decision making.
If anyone who uses the power, consider, for its decision, all relevant factors, then embraces the complexity and “begins to feel intuitively when the threshold of “relevance” is reached and then you review this limit as progress.“
However a decision maker with integrative thinking should consider that the factors included as relevant, has relative importance, that is, by its sensitivity or ability to perceive and the ability to compare and contrast to see it truly recognizes the critical factors.
It is the critical moment of relevance!
All this is possible only if it is not subject to the limitations of a hierarchy that naturally biased and selects the desired factors.
This relevance factor is the first task of a set of four, which follow and which form the integrative thinking.
An integrative thinker after determining the relevance must now understand the relationships that link these factors or variables and to do so will deal with ambiguity and create causal maps while developing alternative theories.
Traditionally a decision maker abused the power to take refuge in their status by not considering alternatives.
Rather, says Roger Martin, the integrative thinker will embrace mysterious elements instead of excluding them because he has the ability to maintain a clear purpose in this case, through the difficult step of drawing the complex causal interrelationships, while maintaining the flexibility to review judgments about patterns of causality, even on the map causal relevance that develops.
The next step in this cascade is the most difficult to embrace for those who have power in hand.
Create a sequence of variables is a complex problem and the trend is to eliminate variables together make the path more accessible.
The second task for the integrative thinker is to develop an understanding of causal relations that connect the variables and choices involved.
In essence, the integrative thinker creates a causal map that groups the variables considered most important at the first step.
The integrative thinker rather than to separate or eliminate variables or factors, keeps the thought in the overall picture of the causal map, while exploring various options to focus on where and how to address the problem.
For that he uses the sequence of causal factors that the map gives him.
The ability to select the point of incision in the problem is crucial for the integrative thinker who together with the ability to use their experiences allows him to reach the quarter point of the cascade , the resolution .
But as Roger Martin says “There is always some stones on the road. Right now the attitude is key.”
Not an attitude of power without dialogue or just disregard the other elements of the organization, but an attitude that sees the challenges as something to be managed and transposable without fear.
In deciding between A and B by the integrative thinker chooses the path of continuous improvement to find a creative solution.
The hierarchy behind the waterfall is not abuse of power!