Leaders need to learn to appreciate “paradox thinking,” in which apparently opposing priorities or problems are addressed in tandem, writes Deborah Schroeder-Saulnier. That means acknowledging that many situations are not either/or decisions. “Paradox thinking unravels the assumption that, if we analyze a situation thoroughly, one option will trump another in terms of problem-solving,”
Deborah Schroeder-Saulnier, author of The power of paradox come out with innovative thinking. He strongly recommend that either or thinking.
Paradox thinking is “and” thinking. It is thinking that identifies pairs of opposites and determines how they are interdependent relative to a key goal. In the previous examples, one pair of opposites is “short-term revenue and long-term health.”
There are situations where paradox thinking is exactly what you need to solve a problem, and then, there are times when you need to decide between options.
People in leadership roles often associate that false dichotomy with confidence and success. A colonel decides to send troops to one location rather than another for a surprise attack.
A football coach chooses between Play A and Play B to win the game. A doctor relies on quick either/or thinking to make a life-and-death decision. In situations like these, choosing one possibility over another may be necessary to solve a problem.
You have to become decision maker and take decision to zero it on the ground. You are more interested in the outcome not the process. Those who ponder too long can put their jobs at risk.
Adopting an appreciation for paradox ends the practice of viewing conflicting needs separately and addressing one over the other. Paradox thinking unravels the assumption that, if we analyze a situation thoroughly, one option will trump another in terms of problem-solving. You or organizations do not reach their potential when they habitually use that kind of either/or approach to challenges. Their profit, morale, and ability to innovate suffer.