Embracing Paradoxes

In a previous blog we explored how organisms in nature thrive by being competitve AND collaborative, by being “greedy” AND systems-focused (“Where  does greed fit in” 24Sept2010).  If you look in your own back garden, you’ll find that nature is full of such paradoxes:  rapid growth AND long-term investment, order AND chaos, rooting AND reaching, free AND  valuable, breaking-down AND building up.

Although we all have an incredible and unique ability to think and reflect, most of us prefer simple binary thinking and thus tend to evaluate things — including ourselves –according to a linear spectrum of opposites.  Good–Bad, Best–Worst, Win-Lose, Minimum-Maximum, Introvert–Extrovert, Theory X–Theory Y, Leader-Follower

It’s easier to think this way, of course, but also highly limiting.   Most of us don’t like to be labled as “this” or “that” as we feel much more dynanmic, complex, diverse, and nuanced than two simple opposing terms can describe.   We recognize, feel, and live the myraid paradoxes of human nature – we can be both ends of a spectrum at the same time.

Imagine letting go of simple binary thinking.  When you find yourself catagorizing something as this or that, placing something on a simple linear scale, pause and reflect if this is an accurate, holostic view of the situation.   What if you looked at the situation as dynanmic, complex, diverse, and nuanced?  What new possibilities, ideas, solutions, and opportunities arise?

Business inspired by nature embraces paradoxes, including the unique paradoxes of human nature, to optimize across multiple functions, add values to value creation, unlock creative potential, and thrive while being part of nature.