Paradox Management

Paradoxes are the ultimate intellectual challenge.

Paradox Management

Paradoxes are the ultimate intellectual challenge, as two opposites seem to be true at the same time: they challenge to creatively resolve the paradoxical situation. A paradox presents people with a difficult task of wrestling with a problem without ever arriving at a definitive solution. At best, we can find a workable reconciliation to temporarily cope with the unsolvable paradox.

Paradoxes can be found between different perceptions of what is ‘real’ and what is ‘right’: run risks or avoid mistakes; flexibility or control; planning or action; cohesion or conflict, et cetera. We should not aim to choose between the two polarities; we need them both, and they need to be balanced to be effective. This is exactly how individuals, teams and organisations can approach their differences.

Read more in:
Polarity Management
Identifying and Managing Unsolvable Problems
by Barry Johnson

Read more in:
Process, Content, Context
An International Perspective
by Bob de Wit and Ron Meyer