Coexistence of Opposites– Success Requires a Yin-Yang Mindset: Balancing the Power of Opposites…

The key challenge in any organizations is to reconcile opposites… Rather than see the world in black and white, we must recognize value of black, white and everything in between… According to Wayne Eckerson; the way to address challenges is to keep an open mind and remember that the world doesn’t operate in absolutes, but shades of gray, and opposites do attract... According to Jennifer Kahnweiler; the new model of work requires that you collaborate and understand that opposites are wired differently…

All situations exist because many different opposing forces balance each other and the truly interesting part is that opposite forces are actually necessary sides of the same system… The black and white symbol that depicts yin-yang is all about the interaction of two energies that causes things to happen… According to Yogesh Daudkhane; the beauty of yin-yang lies in the balancing act… Hence concentrating too much on either side, results in an imbalance and disintegration of an organization’s objective. Therefore, continuous assessment of state of the organization and formulation of strategies to maintain balance is key to achieve sustainability…

In the article Half Of It: Union of Opposites by Ken Wilber writes: Have you ever wondered why life comes in opposite? Why are all things you value one of a pair of opposite? Why are all decisions between opposite? Why are all desires based on opposite? Notice that all spatial and directional dimensions are opposite: up vs. down, inside vs. outside, high vs. low, long vs. short, big vs. small, here vs. there, top vs. bottom, left vs. right... And notice all things you consider serious and important are one pole of a pair of opposite; good vs. evil, life vs. death, pleasure vs. pain, success vs. failure, strong vs. weak, intelligent vs. stupid… The world is a massive collection of opposites…

The simple fact is that it’s world of conflict and opposites, because it’s a world of boundaries… And every boundary line is also a battle line; the firmer one’s boundaries, and the more entrenched are one’s battles. The more you hold onto pleasure, the more you necessarily fear pain; the more you pursue goodness, the more you am obsessed with evil; the more you seek success, the more you must dread failure…

In order words, human problems are problems of boundaries and the opposites they create… The habitual way of trying to solve these problems is to attempt to eradicate one of the opposites, e.g.; you handle the problem of good vs. evil by trying to eliminate evil… The point is that you always tend to treat the boundary as real, and then manipulate the opposites created by the boundary… You never seem to question the existence of the boundary itself… Because you believe the boundary is real, and staunchly imagine opposites are irreconcilable, separate, forever set apart…

Thus you suppose that life is better by eradicating all negatives and unwanted poles of pairs of opposites… Even the simplest of opposites, such as; buying vs. selling, are viewed as two different and separate events… Yes, it’s true that buying and selling are different, but they are also completely inseparable. Any time you buy something, someone else has, in same action, sold something. In other words, buying and selling are simply two ends of one event, namely, a single business transaction…

Although two ends of the transaction are ‘different’, the single event which they represent is one and the same…  Hence, the solution in the war of opposites requires surrendering of all boundaries, and not the progressive juggling of opposites against each other. The war of opposites is symptom with a boundary that is taken to be real… hence, to cure the symptoms you must go to root of the matter, i.e.; The illusory boundary…

In the article Harnessing Energy of Opposites by guestcontributor writes: To succeed in an increasingly interconnected world, creative leaders must avoid choosing between unacceptable alternatives… Instead, they must use power inherent in the ‘duality of opposites’ to invent different assumptions and create new models geared to an ever-changing world… According to Dr. Barry Johnson; polarity is a situation in which both conflicting points of view are true… 

The ability to shift from exclusive reliance on ‘either/or’ thinking to leveraging ‘both/and’ thinking is a critical competency for success in an increasingly complex and connected world. Great breakthroughs can occur when forward-thinking leaders learn to harness the power of opposites to the advantage of organization…

In the article Resilience and Coexistence of Opposites by Dr. David Goodman writes: Resilience is most powerful when opposites are harmonized in a system. Whenever you have a personal quality; say being ‘stable’ without its opposite, then there is lack of resilience… ‘Stability’ without ‘adaptability’ creates a situation of stubbornness and inflexibility, thus resistance to change…

On the other hand ‘adaptability’ without ‘stability’ yields frazzled, frenzied change without apparent direction… Hence, organizations can display this unintegrated weakness, or they can be resilient and successful… Resilience means robustness, and it implies both stability and openness to innovate…

Organizations that live by the ‘loose-tight’ principle are on the one hand rigidly controlled, yet at the same time they allow (indeed, insist on); autonomy, entrepreneurship and innovation from the rank and file… According to Peters, Waterman; traditions and behaviors that represent– stability, innovation, adaptability… have the essential for resilience…

Prevailing wisdom is that success comes by driving performance but it’s a ‘coexistence of opposites’ that really matters– every negative event carries elements of something positive… For example; every brave person still feels fear– bravery requires recognition that other things are more important than the fear… Or as the old saying goes; the brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all... Focusing on performance accounts for half of success. The other half comes from focusing on what is called– ‘organizational health’; the ability of an organization to align, renew, execute faster than competitors…

Hence a paradox: The more companies focus on performance, the less they are able to win the performance game, and similarly when only focus organizational health, they will fail as well: The key is balance… According to Colin Price; instead of being single-minded leaders must blend the two opposites… they must grapple with the duality of driving performance and boosting organizational health… But that devolves into dealing with sets of opposites, e.g.; ‘change and stability’, ‘control and empowerment’, ‘consistency and variability’… Seeking one without the other results in failure: Success requires a yin-yang mindset…