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Polarities are interdependent opposites which function best when both are present to balance with each other. By definition a "problem" is an issue which requires a solution. The goal of a problem is to find a fix to the current situation and move forward to a new reality without being required to ever look back. However, a "polarity" is an issue that needs to be addressed, but the "solution" is not one that can survive independently and will actually still require support from the original issue. “Polarity” can only be managed. A “polarity” is a dilemma or a paradox. In Barry Johnson’s book Polarity Management: Identifying and Managing Unsolvable Problem, he states “that many issues we define as problems to be solved are actually polarities which have interdependence and need to be managed not solve.” In their book Built to Last, James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras discuss how leaders fall prey to “The Tyranny of the Or”, the belief that one cannot live with two apparently contradictory ideas at the same time. They found that “The Tyranny of the OR pushes people to believe that things must be either A OR B, but not both. Instead of being oppressed by the Tyranny of OR, highly visionary companies liberate themselves with the Genius of the AND the ability embrace both extremes of a number of dimensions at the same time. Instead of choosing between A B, they figure out a way to have both A AND B.” Polarity management is a useful tool for recognizing, understanding, and managing complexities which makes the most of polarities to take advantage of positives and reduce negatives; atechnique to have both A AND B. It involves moving from focusing on one pole as the problem and the other as the solution (either/or thinking), to valuing both poles (both/and thinking). Good polarity management gets the best of both poles while avoiding the limits of either. 2. The Polarity Map

Barry Johnson, author of the book Polarity Management, has studied these paradoxes for a number of years and developed a method to identify and successfully manage polarities. Barry acknowledges that decision making is critical; either/or choices must be made. A problem solving approach is naturally an important part of leadership. Our education system and organizations reward good problem solving skills. The result is we face most situations with a problem solving orientation, looking for the one right answer. But, Barry says in his book that “paradoxes or polarities can never be solved by problem solving or a decision…, they must be managed, requiring a “both/and solutions.” This concept of duality has been around for many years. The concept of Yin and Yang is found in ancient Chinese philosophy, which describes “two primal opposing but complementary forces found in all things in the universe.”

To manage polarity, Barry Johnson developed the polarity map. It is used to allow opposing viewpoints to work through the positives and negatives of both viewpoints to get the best outcome.
For this polarity map, Product Driven and Market Driven will be analyzed as teamwork is more and more prominent in the corporate environment, as well as in the simulation.

 As in simulation and as many companies now believe the solution to a majority of the work-based problems is a shift to a more team oriented. Teams are being credited for their ability to: create a synergistic effect, provide a common direction, provide mutual support, appreciate every individual's job, and create a cohesive unit. However, with team the following characteristics also created: too much conformity, bland, too many meetings that last too long, the neglect of personal needs, and the organization only rising to the level of the lowest common denominator. When individual is focused on, you get: individual creativity and initiative, an entrepreneurial spirit, fewer meetings and individual freedom. But with an individual focus you also get: people who feel isolated and left out, no common direction, rewards to only those who hit home runs, and no synergistic effect or team support! 3. Applying Polarity Management to top management team

There is significant competitive advantage for leaders and organizations that can both solve problems and manage polarities. The research is very clear on this. Leaders and organizations that tap the power of polarities(dilemmas or paradox) out perform those that don’t. In this case the two polarities are the individual and the team. By recognizing these two polarities, organizations can understand and predict the downsides of either pole and strive to maintain a balance between the two positive sides of both poles. Leaders in organizations who understand the strength of managing polarities are more effective because they save time and energy not trying to solve problems which are unsolvable; they have a better understanding of the resistance they may face to organizational changes or implementation of the Integrated Product Team (IPT) they wish to make; they will be more effective in negotiating with those in opposition to their changes; they may serve as more effective mediators; and they will be able to anticipate and minimize problems that occur within a workplace when polarities are not managed well. Decision making will improve when leaders learn the power of the "and" and don't rely constantly on either/or decisions. Polarities are usually found at the heart of any form of major (or minor) organizational change and there are commonly two competing sides. The goal of polarity management is not to solve or remove problems. Rather it is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the two poles that exist within the dilemma. With this knowledge organization leaders can predict, prepare for and manage potential pitfalls within the organization. The object is not necessarily to eliminate all the negative aspects of either pole, but rather to maximize and sustain the potential of existing within the positive sides of either pole. References