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The Institute for Polarities & Paradox is a division of the Center for Leadership Maturity.

What Are Polarities

Today’s businesses operate in volatile and complex environments, oftentimes making critical decisions in order to survive, all the while painfully learning how to deal with change. Problems that arise in these environments are not the kind that are easily solved by adopting an ‘either/or’ approach. In fact, these “problems” actually show up not as problems, but as “polarities.” Either/Or problems have independent solutions, and are not ongoing – they can be ‘solved’. Polarities are ongoing – they can never be ‘solved’ – they cycle back and forth, and we can get caught up trying to solve them. The way polarities are managed is very different from the way conventional problems are solved, and can make the difference in whether you survive or thrive.

Polarity Wisdom™ is a key leadership competency for 21st century leaders and organizations. It is a tool that helps leaders understand complexity and interpret day-to-day situations in ways that enables them to be wiser and more innovative leaders. The Polarity Wisdom™ perspective enables leaders to embrace competing values and get the best of both opposites, while avoiding the limits of each.

Master Practitioners

  • Beena Sharma

  • Brian Emerson

  • Chandra Irvin

  • Elaine Yarborough

  • Elizabeth Monroe-Cook

  • Fay Kandarian

  • Margaret Seidler

  • Patrick Masterson

  • Tim Arnold

Some companies working with polarities

Hewlett Packard, Linksys, Sprint, Intel, Proctor and Gamble, Pepsico, United Nations, Lockheed Martin, Amoco, Cleveland Clinic, Hershey’s, General Motors, General Electric, Marriott Hotels, Kaiser Permanente, Bristol-Myers Squibb, US Navy, US Office of Personnel Management, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Federal Executive Institute, Charles Schwab and Co, Shell, Mobil, Sears, TJ Maxx, Notre Dame University, Kraft, McKinsey, DBM Consulting, Arthur Andersen Consulting, Center for Creative Leadership...