- See that there is more than one way to look at things.
- Create links between these disparate things and to bring them into a coherent overall resolution.
Most great business leaders, such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Elon Musk (including Nobel Laureates) have demonstrated integrative complexity skills. They each have shown, in their own way, that they can develop and entertain opposing values and ideas and then integrate them into larger creatives wholes. Things are not simply black and white to them—and they make the most of the gray areas.
Other examples of this skill are:
- The ability to see the big picture, the tiny details, and all levels in between, and merge the views gained at those different levels.
- Being creative, systematic, and practical all at the same time.
- Being assertive and open-minded at the same time.
- Doing things that people assume don’t do together. For example, being wildly creative yet highly organized with intense attention to detail and precision.
- Having a mental map of how things need to be done for highest efficiency—yet being open for improvement.
- Being both humble and intelligent, willing to ask questions and satisfy their curiosity.
In short, integrative complexity skills are the key to our future creativity on this earth. Being tied into rigid rules and narrow prejudices is not the path for our evolution as a species.