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 / Summer 2013 / Issue 71(originally published by Booz & Company)


Leading with Intellectual Integrity

It takes intellectual integrity to insist upon the continued practice of choice cascades throughout the organization. It’s tough to answer the questions posed in this exercise, and tougher still to follow through with action. But the alternative—attempting to win in the marketplace with no consistent company-wide strategy—is ultimately far more difficult. 

Reprint No. 00186

Author Profiles:

  • A.G. Lafley is coauthor, with Roger Martin, of Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013). He is the former chairman, president, and CEO of Procter & Gamble. He is a special advisor at the private equity partnership Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, and a director of General Electric.
  • Roger Martin is dean and professor of strategic management at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. He is a well-known advisor on strategy and leadership development to CEOs.
  • Jennifer Riel is associate director of the Desautels Centre for Integrative Thinking at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.


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  1. A.G. Lafley with Ram Charan, “P&G’s Innovation Culture,” s+b, Autumn 2008: The deliberate steps that enabled P&G’s company-wide embrace of game-changing activity.
  2. A.G. Lafley and Roger Martin, Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013): Explicates the principles underlying the choice cascade.
  3. A.G. Lafley, Roger L. Martin, Jan W. Rivkin, and Nicolaj Siggelkow, “Bringing Science to the Art of Strategy,” Harvard Business Review, Sept. 2012: Describes a choice cascade process.
  4. Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi, The Essential Advantage: How to Win with a Capabilities-Driven Strategy (Harvard Business Review Press, 2011): How to develop a coherent strategy by integrating your value proposition (“way to play”) and capabilities.
  5. Roger Martin, The Opposable Mind: Winning through Integrative Thinking (Harvard Business Review Press, 2009): This view of complex, contradiction-embracing leadership resonates with intellectual integrity.
  6. For more thought leadership on this topic, see the s+b website at:
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