- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: H R D Press; 60754th edition (June 12, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0874251761
- ISBN-13: 978-0874251760
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 30 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Polarity Management: Identifying and Managing Unsolvable Problems Paperback – June 12, 2014
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About the Author
For the past 35 years, Barry Johnson has been working to help create organizations that are good places to work, to own, to do business with and to have in the community. In the process he has founded 5 organizations. Barry is regarded as both an effective consultant and leading thinker in the management field. The Polarity Management Map® and initial set of principles emerged out of his work in 1975. Since then he has continued to develop the map, principles with a variety of organizations all over the world. Barry's title Polarity Management is his work with polarities (dilemmas, paradox) and presents a unique model and set of principles based on that will challenge you to look at situations in new ways. Polarity Management is a top selling and widely referenced University level text that is applicable for both higher education and corporate learning.
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If one can accept the notion that there are many unsolvable problems, the reader can take solace in becoming engaged with the author's thorough explanation of how to identify and manage these polarities. By doing so, the vignettes described are energizing and provide teachable moments.
Some of the lessons of the book are:
We are taught to look at both the upside and downside of polarities.
We see and feel what Johnson calls the `tradition bearing' and `crusading' patterns of behavior.
We see and feel that by considering at all sides of a situation, we can participate in a healthy dance between them.
We rush `to be right' rather than becoming `accurate and complete.'
While some of the concepts are at first difficult to grasp, paradoxically, by following the principles of polarity management itself, the lessons learned can be very powerful and worth the journey.
The model & the explanation works really well in the work environment when trying to explain to people that many things are not solvable, they are part of the cycle of business & life. It also works wonderfully with life stuff.
I recommend this book to others regularly.
Using PM would have a manager consider the upside for both "poles" and do her best to keep the decision-making in a best of both worlds status, as long as can be managed. In theory, I do think this is an interesting way of discussing pole-based issues. The book is easily twice as long as it should be and I didn't find the examples to be terribly relevant.
Another issue to bring up is that PM exists on the basis that there are two poles. This can limit decision-making and crush creativity.