Home Concepts Organizational Theory Journey to Irony II: The Lands of Gamma and Delta

Journey to Irony II: The Lands of Gamma and Delta

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It is wise to encourage our coaching and consulting clients to consult regularly with the other side of a polarity in order to evaluate to what degree, with what intensity, or for what time period both sides can reap the benefits of one side. This is particularly important given the interconnected nature of complex, turbulent systems with interdependent subsystems. For example, if life-work balance were the issue, our client would listen to their family’s feedback, so as not to overshoot their dedication to work. If our CEO client cared about balancing her company’s financial health with investments for growth, we would encourage our client to make sure that she regularly brought her conservative CFO as well as her expansionist, visionary head of global marketing to the table, agreeing on trade-offs, measurable goals and milestones for evaluating results.

As a safeguard against overshooting toward either side, it is prudent for us, as interventionists and leaders living in an era of Irony, to build in alarm systems that warn us when we may be trying to maximize one side, and are on the verge of triggering the negative reactions—a tipping point. The alarm signal for overworking and traveling too intensely might be putting on ten pounds over one’s average weight or nodding off during a long committee meeting. At such time, we would reduce our travels and dedicate even more specific attention to our health. The alarm signal implicit in America’s current handling of the ironic paradox of freedom versus security would be, on the security side, clearly, another attack on this soil. The alarm metric for safeguarding freedom is less clearly defined.

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