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The world is perfect as it is, including my desire to change it.” ~ Ram Dass. This is polarity thinking.

Polarity is a pair of values (poles) that may seem to be opposed but are actually interdependent.

When we cling towards one pole too much without leveraging the opposite pole, we get the downside of the pole you like. For example, while I was learning to swim, it was a relief to be able to take a breath after putting my head in the water for a while. But taking too big a breath, I lost my balance and sank. Breathing in and out itself is a polarity.

We tend to struggle with different sets of polarities in different stages of development (i.e. vertical developmental stages). Over the years, I struggled with the indecision to stay in technology or move to coach full-time. I loved both. When I grew up a bit, I accepted the choice to stay in tech full-time and continue to coach part-time; did both and leveraged both my analytical and conceptual minds. I had my fun and peace.

Organizations also experience different sets of polarities challenges based on their maturity and leadership maturity; for example stability and change, profitability, and growth, or honoring employees and customers. When they can leverage their focused polarities, they have better results.

What are some polarities you leverage well?

What are some polarities your organization is challenged with?

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