"GOLDEN DUALITIES"

From

 DUALISTIC  DILEMMAS & CONFLICTS

To

"Both/And" COLLABORATIONS

 

Some examples where a Conflict / Dilemma between two opposed (?) principles was managed successfully.

New thinking made it possible to satisfy BOTH. But always there is a price to be paid.

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Dilemma: 

QUALITY versus COST

 

.

 

 

QUALITY

 

Assumption:

Higher Quality must always mean Higher Cost.

 

      VERSUS

COST

 

Assumption:

Cutting Costs must always mean Reducing Quality.

 

So the challenge (OLD VERSION) is to find the best trade-off or compromise

 

Result: no-one is satisfied.

 

New Solution:

LEAN MANAGEMENT

 

Higher Quality 

AND Lower Cost are both achieved thru new "Lean" work belief system & management

 

BUT

new thinking &

new systems

are required

(COST)

 

Old thinking,

former mental model.

EXPLORATION

 

Assumption:

Org builds long-term survivability by investing in radical, risky next-generation innovations. 

 

 

VERSUS

EXPLOITATION

 

Assumption:

Org. priority is to maximize current profits by putting main efforts into proven "cash cows" (established business assets). 

 

Result: innovation ventures either starved or socialized into conformity to dominant dominant org. culture.

 

Old thinking,

former mental model.

Solution:

AMBIDEXTROUS MANAGEMENT

 

New ventures are sheltered, protected by top managers who "get" the dual strategy. Both sides are integrated to share assets both ways.

 

COST: new thinking & new systems are required

 

The two examples above illustrate how
DUALITY DILEMMA can be turned into a GOLDEN DUALITY
i.e. how an "odd couple" (who cannot tolerate each other but need to collaborate and to use their different abilities together)  can form a productive collaboration. 
 
Making this transformation may be called "problem solving" or "conflict management" or "organizational learning", etc.. It goes beyond negotiation and includes dialogue.
Often the "resolution" is not as clear or clean as these examples. It requires the players to tolerate some paradox and ambiguity, without blaming other players for tough situations. Many of these situations are found at an interface where people are working increase ORGanizational learning on top of somewhat Bureaucratic systems. All the disciplines of the learning organization and more will be needed. 


 

OLD MENTAL MODEL (truism assumed by many):
"Choose your priority.  You/they can't have it both ways." 
 
NEW MENTAL MODEL (under consideration by players, as new the conflict is faced in dialog with open minds):
"We need to satisfy both of these  although that seems "impossible". But WHAT IF we could change the constraints, especially some of our assumptions (mental models) ?

 
The examples above and below show proven ways it can happen.
 
 
 

A BUREAUCRATIC approach to management traditionally requires an impersonal, formal, focus on rules and procedures - rather than people and relationships. 

VERSUS

 

A RELATIONAL approach to organizational management requires careful attention to people and (social-emotional) factors

 

Solution:

 

RELATIONAL BUREAUCRACY.

 

Formal rules & structures support  HR policies that are people- and relationship-friendly. Leaders integrate these two sides (formal & informal). This makes a more sustainable relationship-based culture than one that depends solely on informal networks, fighting corporate bureaucracy.

 

SOURCE: Gittell, J.H. & Douglass, A. (2013). Relational Bureaucracy: Structuring Reciprocal Relationships Into Roles, Academy of Management Review, 37 (4), 709-733.