Unconventional Mindset to Solve Uncertain Business Challenges.
What is a Paradox Mindset
A paradox is a statement that seems self-contradictory but still makes sense at a deeper level. Some well-known paradoxical statements are:
• Change is the only constant
• Less is More
• Earn money by spending it
From the literature perspective, such kind of statements stand out and helps gain attention. But on the behavioral front, it instills a way of creative thinking that can be very powerful while dealing with paradoxical scenarios.
A paradox mindset embraces the ambiguity that comes with conflicting situations. It suggests alternative perspectives by rejecting assumptions, prejudice, and misconception, and explores new ways to integrate thoughts of opposite polarity (both/and approach).
Problems have solutions, Paradoxes don't. It’s about embracing and balancing both.
Paradox thinking is exactly the opposite of rational thinking, which obviously is very uncomfortable. Our thoughts basically follow the principle of electricity flow. They take the path of least resistance. This is the reason why most people find it hard to engage in creative thought processes. Because they need to resist the resistance and force their thoughts to flow in a new direction. This also explains why people do not change.
Can a Paradox mindset be developed and how to do that !!!
Like any other skill, a paradox mindset can be cultivated by regular practice. In a fast-evolving world, a rational mindset can help you progress only so much. The paradox mindset on the other hand is a growth-oriented approach that will help you gain a futuristic point of view and dynamic problem-solving skills.
Change your perspective : Reorganize your thought to integrate the opposing ends of a paradox. Instead of deciding upon continuing an old project versus a new one, ask how the old one can support initiating a new one.
Develop comfort with discomfort : Leaders with a paradox mindset are in tune with the dynamics of the organization. Hence, they don’t wait for the tensions to approach; rather they seek them actively. Develop a liking for ambiguity and learn to manage the emotional discomfort that comes with it. Surround yourself with people with mixed and opposing views of a situation. Encourage others to play devil’s advocate to challenge your viewpoint.
Have an outlier view of the situation : Sometimes the conflicting tensions become extreme to the point of decision paralysis. Distancing yourself during those times and analyzing the situation from outside the system will open up new ideas. You should also connect with other individuals outside the system and take their perspectives to come up with an apt strategy.
A paradox mindset is for the leadership of the future. It’s not easy to adopt due to the plethora of contradictory and complex thought processes that it evokes. But done right, the outcome is quite rewarding from an organizational perspective. A leader with this mindset fosters an environment of creativity and innovation. A paradox mindset has proven to be a valuable management strategy for futuristic and fast-growing organizations, where conflicting thoughts and ambiguity are the norms on any given day.