Polarity: A New Point of Focus for Leaders?

A couple of days ago, I read on The Script Lab site: “Polarity is mutual opposition, and when opposite elements are forced to interact, sparks fly. Conflict! It’s the elixir of the script, the adhesive that keeps us there. If there’s no conflict, there’s no audience.”

This sounds like important and challenging stuff for communication and leadership strategies. Why?

What happens when sparks start flying around in an organization because of two ends that find it difficult to meet? Somehow, this does not sound like an office party, but more like a situation of complexity, or even chaos.

Now here it get’s interesting. If we believe polarity is the essence of conflict, does this mean that it is the essence of chaos and complexity too? If so, leaders should better shake up their antennas towards sensing places and moments in their organisation and network where polarity exists or is most likely to appear, for example in times of driving change or diversity.

How? Through, for example, collecting and analysing those stories from stakeholders that expose their (unconsious) believes and behaviour. Cumbersome? Well, it will takes work of skilled and committed leaders to get opposites attract and spark off new, original ideas, rather than leaving them to create chaos and impasse.

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