Polarity Management is a set of management principles that can help a manager manage a business operation more effectively. Polarity management requires a manager to discern whether an issue is one that can be solved or one that needs to be managed. Doing so works to the advantage of the organization they are managing.
Problem Solving Disrupted
Applying usual problem solving tools to polarities can only make the situation worse not better. Hence, business thinkers in today’s disrupted economy are embracing polarity management as providing a significant competitive advantage. The mindset is that those leaders, teams, or organizations that can distinguish between a problem to solve and a polarity to manage will gain the competitive advantage.
Managing polarities recognizes that striking a balance when things become acrimonious is something that needs to occur when no “right” or “wrong” answer exists. For example, throughout the 21st century, we have seen an increase in the number of teams that companies are assembling withing their workforces to give their companies an edge in the marketplace.
Teams & Polarity Management
Teams can be great. They can bring people together who can feed off each other’s talents and skills. Teams also allow employers to pull together individuals with diverse abilities that can create powerful, multifaceted work. But teams can also create headaches for managers. What should a manager do if two team members have a heated argument and don’t want to speak to each other?
Uneven Team Participation
What happens is a team has both high producing and low producing members and the high producing members get mad at the low producing members for their lack of input? Should a manager decide that the “solution” would be to end teamwork altogether? Or would a savvy manager decide that approaching these “problems” as polarity issues that could restore harmony and productivity be the best way to go? A smart manager might realize that they could effectively manage these situations but then be faced with even more issues, down the road. Again, these situations may require polarity management to restore the team’s operations and get the team back on the rails.