WATCH: The Paradox of Organization

Today, I want to talk about the Paradox of Organization. And this Paradox is one of the 12 Paradoxes developed by Dr. Dan Harrison. And if you’re interested in them please do get in touch.

Paradox of Organization

So the Paradox of Organization is made up of two traits, which could be seen to be opposite but in fact when they come together form something synergistic and more powerful than either/or. It’s about both end.

So if you got the trait of being organized, and that means that you’d like to bring order and maintain order in situations and environments. If you got the trait of flexible, it means you enjoy being flexible and adapting to change. And when we have very high organization, tendency for being highly organized but not so much the flexible Trent tendency, then we can end up by being rigidly organized. And that means that people will see us as being inflexible and not able or willing to adapt to change.

In fact, change could become stressful for us on the other side we’ve got flexible. Where we’re being very flexible if we’re not very organized, we could be seen as being scattered and therefore that makes it difficult for some people to work with because we’re not really organized enough for them. And that means that things are all over the place.

And if you can bring both together so that you’re flexible and organized. You get this new trait called flexible organizing, and that’s the best of both worlds, where you can be flexible and adapt to change. And then bring order to that new situation until you realize that there’s more change that’s needed. And then you can adapt to that now.

One thing to be aware of is if we’re out of balance we can actually end up for instance, if we’re very highly flexible but not particularly organized. That stress can build up. Things can get a little bit out of order. And if stress builds up, we can then flip into being rigidly organized. And people go like “oh what’s up today”. But these could become so rigid and then on the other hand, If you’re very originally organized, you can actually have an unconscious sort of fear of becoming scattered and losing control. And that can also lead to irrational behavior.

So think about the paradox of being organized. How you and your team are on this. How organized you are. How flexible you are and where you may need to bring some more balance in the situations so you can be flexible organizing.

And if you’re interested in any more of these paradoxes there’s 12 in total.  Please do get in touch. I’d love to have a chat with you about them. Thank you!


With best regards,

David Klaasen 

Talent4Performance help business leaders clarify complexity. We inspire people and drive continuous performance improvement, so they can convert thinking into action and results. 

©David Klaasen – 2014