Cultivating integrative complexity

What do Presidents, Prime Ministers and successful PMs – Product Managers — have in common?

Ever wondered how the leader of a country can be fighting off aggression from a neighbour and at the same time be negotiating a trade agreement with that same country?

Such leaders usually score high on IC.

How does one deal with ambiguous information, conflicting information and yet arrive at decisions that take into account multiple facets of a problem? Multiple people with diverse opinions?

IC stands for – integrative complexity

Here is a definition from Wikipedia

“Integrative complexity is … thinking and reasoning involve the recognition and integration of multiple perspectives and possibilities and their interrelated contingencies”

Of course Presidents and Ministers have it way hard – they are often making decisions that can impact entire populations and sometimes the world.

Product managers have it easier then world leaders, but in their own ecosystem are required to make similar complex and high stakes decisions.

Decisions that PMs make can affect the product, people and at times the entire company they are working for.

They have to manage the diverse opinions and inputs from executives, sales people, marketers, developers and more.

Good thing is that IC is not like IQ, you are not just born with it.

It’s a trait that can be cultivated.

Through reading, problem solving, training and practicing.

Most importantly becoming aware of the complexities and learning to deal with it in better and better ways….