During the final day of our Masterclass Digital Flow in Paris, we started off with insights from philosopher and management consultant Ivo Brughmans. He inspired about Paradoxical leadership and 'both-and' thinking, and we explored how this framework can be applied through a Digital Flow in the context of digital transformation.
Paradoxes have to be dealt with
There is an opposite to every feeling, movement or idea. Of course there is often a continuum of possibilities between two extremes, but the two extremes – which are diametrically opposed to each other – can feel like an irreconcilable combination. There are also many paradoxes to be found in your company. In the context of the digital transformation, for example, we can see the following areas of tension:
- Speed vs. stability
- Resistance vs. commitment
- Chaos vs. structure
- Reactive vs. proactive
- Short term vs. long term
These contradictions provide diversity but can also have a delaying or even destructive effect if you allow the pendulum to swing too far. Too much stability and the organisation does not move and falls hopelessly behind; too much speed and employees and customers do not join in the story or put their heels in the sand. In short, everything and everyone is full of paradoxes and, depending on the context, it is best to move through the continuum of possibilities. One thing doesn't happen without the other. By meting out the extremes and bringing them together in a stable mix, both gain traction.