Dealing with Paradoxes in Organizations

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Dealing with Paradoxes in Organizations

Organizations are paradoxical in lots of ways and executives have to decide what to do with the intrinsically contradicting nature of many managerial issues.
It's useful to distinguish two (paradoxical!) approaches if you're faced with a paradox in an organization:
1. ACCEPT THE PARADOX.
1A. The poles cannot be solved by their very nature
1B. The poles operate at different levels of the organization (e.g. individual, departmental, business unit, corporate level)
1C. The poles operate at different moments in time (following each other).
2. (TRY TO) SOLVE THE PARADOX.
2A. Choose for one of the opposite sides (dilemma)
2B. Strike a balance between the two poles (average/trade off)
2C. Integrate the two poles (synthesis).
So next time you're facing a complex organizational issue, try to "play" in your mind with the above 2 approaches towards paradoxes at the same time.

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