Some organizations create solid strategic plans but suffer from “binders that stay on the shelf” resulting in failed implementation efforts. Others excel at execution but could improve the upstream thinking that goes into developing plans. At Polarity Partnerships we realize it’s critical to leverage this Planning and Implementation Polarity to achieve your strategic goals.
Part of good planning is making well-informed decisions, but it doesn’t stop there. We’ll work with you to engage key stakeholders in crafting this new direction. In doing so, you’ll create broad-based commitment to your strategy and the actions needed to translate it from words on paper to success in the real world.
Implementation is all about action. Focus on implementation and you’ll enjoy the benefits that come from following through on plans you’ve developed and commitments you’ve made. Implementation efforts that succeed are based on clear Accountability AND strong Support. Get both of these right and see your implementation efforts deliver the predictable results envisioned when you developed your strategy.
Do you win by developing a smart strategy or implementing it well? Our answer at Polarity Partnerships is yes!
Many organizations devote enormous time, money and energy to “culture change” efforts. They focus on freeing themselves from an entrenched culture that no longer seems to be serving them well. In most cases nothing “changes.” In other situations people can point to business being done in new ways early in the effort…but six months later the culture has reverted back to the way things have always been. Why?
There are two key Polarities that have likely been leveraged poorly, turning the odds of succeeding in your culture work against you:
For most, Individual Development and Organizational Development are separate but connected elements to pay attention to if you want sustained success. These are separate but connected elements…and more. They are a critical polarity that needs to be leveraged well over time if you hope to succeed. When you make organizational changes because of new strategies, business processes, or culture, your people need to be prepared to take full advantage of these changes. Unprepared people = unsuccessful change effort.
In the same vein when people develop new capabilities, the organization needs to be able to fully leverage these new skills and knowledge. People become frustrated when they can’t use what they’ve just learned or when the organization makes it hard to do so.
Leverage this Polarity well and you’ll get the best of both worlds: people and an organization that support one another in ensuring your organization’s sustained success.
The value of “Either / Or” problem solving thinking for leaders, teams, and organizations cannot be overstated. However, in “Built to Last” Jim Collins and Jerry Porras describe the “Tyranny of the OR … a rational view that cannot live with two seemingly contradictory forces or ideas at the same time.” They highlight the importance of embracing the “Genius of the AND,” - what we at Polarity Partnerships call “Both / And” Polarity Thinking™.
Advocating to replace “Either / Or” problem solving thinking with “Both / And” Polarity Thinking™ would be setting a very poor example – they’re both necessary and useful and a key polarity that all leaders, teams, and organizations must leverage to be successful! To meet the challenges of today and tomorrow’s rapidly changing business environment head-on, we need the benefits of both types of thinking.
Polarity Thinking™ can sometimes fly in the face of modern business culture and traditional problem solving. Experienced coaches at Polarity Partnerships can support you to achieve the genius of the best of both types of thinking and minimize the “tyranny” that can result from overemphasizing either one of these important thinking skills to the neglect of the other.
Coaching leaders, teams, and organizations in this critically important thinking distinction can make the difference between fixes that fail, and sustainable synergy.
Coaching leaders through a Polarity Lens provides a unique approach to this personal development work. Follow it and you won’t get stuck in the common trap of “From - To” counsel that assumes that there are problems you need to solve (what you need to move “From”) and solutions to be implemented (where you need to move “To”).
A Polarity based approach recognizes that an “Either / Or” mindset to coaching only deals with one half of reality. Say you get feedback that you are too Rigid and need to become more Flexible. An “Either / Or” mindset sees “Rigid” as the problem and “Flexible” as the solution.
A Polarity Thinking™ approach recognizes that Rigid is the downside of “Structured” and Flexible is an upside of “Adaptive.” There are benefits to being Structured (clear, organized, etc.) and costs of being too Flexible (confusing, disorganized, etc.). We believe the modest gains some people experience with even the best coaches can be traced to this “Either / Or,” approach to the “Both / And” dynamics of a coaching relationship.
Clear organization designs give you leverage in achieving your strategy. They help you get where you want to be going. People understand how their work fits within the larger structure of the organization. This clarity breeds confidence. Your systems, structures and processes make it easier to succeed instead of harder.
Yet sometimes the destination changes. New market opportunities open and you need to adapt how your organization is designed to take full advantage of these possibilities.
This is where flexibility comes into play. New strategies require you to adapt your organization’s design. The clarity that had served you well now gets in your way.
What you need is a design that is both Clear and Flexible. Whether you need to shift to a more centralized or decentralized structure, gain entry to new domestic or international markets, or focus more on value or volume, you’ll be better positioned by creating your design looking through a Polarity Lens.