NSB Logo

Roger Martin

Innovator, Strategist & Institute Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute

Roger Martin is a world-renowned expert on business design and integrative thinking, helping leading organizations and companies innovate and create better solutions to complex business problems.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Play to Win: Improve the Architecture of Your Strategic Choices
Martin discusses his set of five essential strategic choices that, when addressed in an integrated way, will move you ahead of your competitors. They are: (1) What is our winning aspiration? (2) Where will we play? (3) How will we win? (4) What capabilities must we have in place to win? and (5) What management systems are required to support our choices? The result is a playbook for winning.

The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking
Instead of focusing on what exceptional leaders do, we need to understand and emulate how they think. Successful businesspeople engage in what Martin calls integrative thinking creatively resolving the tension in opposing models by forming entirely new and superior ones. Martin shows how integrative thinkers are relentlessly diagnosing and synthesizing by asking probing questions including: What are the causal relationships at work here? and What are the implied trade-offs?

Fixing the Game: What Capitalism Can Learn from the NFL
Martin reveals the culprit behind the sorry state of American capitalism: our deep and abiding commitment to the idea that the purpose of the firm is to maximize shareholder value. This theory has led to a massive growth in stock-based compensation for executives and, through this, to a naive and wrongheaded linking of the real market—the business of designing, making, and selling products and services—with the expectations market—the business of trading stocks, options, and complex derivatives. Martin shows how this tight coupling has been engineered and lays out its results: a single-minded focus on the expectations market that will continue driving us from crisis to crisis—unless we act now.

The Design of Business
To innovate and win, companies need design thinking. This form of thinking is rooted in how knowledge advances from one stage to another—from mystery (something we can’t explain) to heuristic (a rule of thumb that guides us toward solution) to algorithm (a predictable formula for producing an answer) to code (when the formula becomes so predictable it can be fully automated). As knowledge advances across the stages, productivity grows and costs drop-creating massive value for companies. 

Platform Plus


Roger's customized workshops include the content provided in speaking engagements plus teaching exercises, breakout sessions for applied learning and action plan development. Deliverables are: a team educated and trained in the chosen skillset. Executives, managers and students will be empowered to apply the skillset to corporate challenges. Workshops are also available to educate trainers to further embed the skillset within the culture.


Roger can also provide advisory/consulting services. Contact us for more info.


Stuart Crainer & Des Dearlove | Top Management Thinkers in the World (3rd)

Business Week | 27 Most Influential Designers in the World

Business Week | B-School All-Star'

  • Roger is in my opinion, without doubt, THE authority when it comes to the UK economy and the economy on a more global scale. I spent a couple of mornings in Rogers company, through a Chief executive group I was involved with and he really is an expert in his field. Thankfully I still receive his economic updates and they are very informative. He's a man with his finger on the pulse.

    - Managing Director, Grimes Finishings Ltd.

Summary Profile

Roger Martin is Premier’s Chair in Productivity & Competitiveness and Academic Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management.  From 1998 to 2013, he served as Dean.  Previously, he spent 13 years as a Director of Monitor Company, a global strategy consulting firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he served as co-head of the firm for two years. His research work is in Integrative Thinking, Business Design, Strategy, Corporate Social Responsibility and Country Competitiveness. He writes extensively and is a regular contributor to: Harvard Business Review’s The Conversation blog, the Financial Times’ Judgment Call column, and Washington Post’s On Leadership blog. He has written fifteenHarvard Business Review articles and published eight books: Playing to Win(with A.G. Lafley) (Harvard Business Review Press (HBRP), 2013), Fixing the Game (HBRP, 2011),The Design of Business (HBRP, 2009); The Opposable Mind (HBRP, 2007); The Responsibility Virus (Basic Books, 2002);Canada: What It Is, What It Can Be (with Jim Milway, Rotman-UTP Publishing, 2012); andDiaminds(with Mihnea Moldoveanu, University of Toronto Press, 2009), and The Future of the MBA(with Mihnea Moldoveanu, Oxford University Press, 2008). In addition, he co-edited Rotman on Design(with Karen Christensen, Rotman-UTP Publishing, 2013). He serves on a number of public service boards: Skoll Foundation, Canadian Credit Management Foundation, Tennis Canada (past chair), and Ontario Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Progress (chair). A Canadian from Wallenstein, Ontario, Roger received his AB from Harvard College, with a concentration in Economics, in 1979 and his MBA from the Harvard Business School in 1981.