Harvard Business Review contributor Larry Clark’s three part series on navigating complexity offers timely education on rethinking business. He encourages leaders to embrace the natural push and pull of polarities that are inherent to every business.
Polarity is when opposing forces pull at each other to keep things balanced. For instance, growth versus profit maximization or work-life balance. You can’t have one without the other. Rather than looking at polarities as a problem to solve, Clark suggests using the “Both/And Leadership” model introduced by Wendy Smith, Marianne Lewis and Michael Tushman. Here’s how.
When facing a paradox, resist picking one side or the other. Accept both truths and manage the tension between them. Use partnerships and technology to shift from scarce to abundant thinking. Let go of the expectation of stability and lean into ambiguity and experimentation.