The Polarities in the Life - the Real Source of Creativity and Innovation in all Contexts.
[ Note: The following article contains paraphrasing of the original concepts and ideas of the author of this book: John Heider, The Tao of Leadership, Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching Adapted for a New Age. Please refer to this book for deeper insights. You may also refer to the philosophy of the Tao Leadership from several other sources.
The author of this article Sri Garapati has added his own commentary and extended the ideas of the Tao Philosophy as mentioned in the above book. In addition, this article extends this philosophy and principles to the TameFlow approach and highlights Logical Thinking Process tools that would be applicable for leadership development in any type of organization.]
Overview: Polarities are the Foundation for the Creation.
All creation consists of polarities. It is defined by what is called a Plus/Minus, Yin/Yang, or Feminine/Masculine. This is self-impregnating and produces everything. How can you adopt this wisdom in whatever that you would like to do? Take some steps back in the creation process of this world to realize that you are also a process consisting of polarities. The knowledge of this creation gives you the stability in whatever journey that you would aspire. On the flip side, you will lose this stability when you put faith in someone or something. For example, in the corporate world, a faith in a particular framework or unchanging processes will stop the creative energy that is needed for everything you are aiming for.
One question that you need to ask yourself is how can you develop stability? When you are wise enough to know how things work, you will know the importance of staying flexible. Everything that grows is flexible. So is enduring strength as opposed to a dead tree which ceased everything. This path of being flexible provides stability and growth in your every step.
Another perspective that you will need to think through is to know that everything is a vibratory pattern or process. This process emerges, develops, and decays.
The existence of everything (your work/life or processes in social organizations as well) consists of both life and death. Favoring either life or death denies existence and creates tension, this tension causes people to make mistakes in critical situations making them far more deadly than existence itself. A vast majority of people suffer the tension of not knowing how polarities work. Even though life and death are opposites, they are inseparable, so preference of either is futile. Only a smaller fraction of people has the wisdom to accept both life and death as facts and simply enjoy the dance of existence. After all, growth and decay present everywhere. The wise leader knows that everything comes and goes, believes in the impermanence of things.
The Wisdom of the Wise Leader
The wise leader learns how things happen and lives accordingly and sees the strength in silent mind, virtue, selflessness, and kindness. An average leader can also learn how things happens, but still vacillate. In contrast, the worst leaders learn how things happen and dismiss it as nonsense the single principle of the unity and existence of polarities in every creation. The worst leader also believes that any principle that doesn’t get you love, money or power must be useless.
The wise leader does not impose a personal agenda or value system on the group. The leader follows the group’s lead and is open to whatever emerges. The leader judges no one and is attentive to both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ people. It does not even matter whether a person is telling the truth or lying. Being open and attentive is more effective than being judgmental.
Perhaps the leader seems naïve and childlike in this uncritical openness to whatever emerges. But openness is simply more potent than any system of judgements ever devised. By staying present and aware of what is happening, the leader can do less yet achieve more.
Some other important attributes of a wise leader are follows:
- In order to lead, the leader learns how to follow.
- In order to prosper, the leader learns to live simply.
- It is the interaction that is creative.
- Leading without following is sterile.
- Being one-sided always produces unexpected and paradoxical results.
What Problems a Wise Leader Faces?
What problems would you see when people don’t understand how things happens? Some of the problems are as follows: because the wise leader’s only allegiance is to how things happen, people who do not see how things happen naturally think that the wise leader’s behavior has no basis in reality. Also, the leader’s silence and manner of being are disturbing. Because the leader’s motives are obscure, the leader is hard to figure out. That does not make sense to some people.
How the TameFlow Approach would Add Value to the Leadership Development?
As you are going through the above arguments, naturally you may wonder how these concepts of polarities in the creation process are applicable to the leadership development? How the TameFlow approach will fit into these concepts? Let us explore some of these ideas.
As thinking is the precursor for any manifestation in human society, being aware of the polarities in the thought process, within you as well as within your teams, will reveal to you the true foundation of any creation. The polarities in nature is the source of real energy for any creativity and innovation to happen! The above concepts and the philosophy of the Tao Leadership naturally complement to the Inspired Leadership of the TameFlow approach. You may already aware that the core foundation of the TameFlow is Theory of Constraints management model and philosophy; Logical Thinking Process is one of the foundational elements to bring transformational change for any type of social organization.
So far, as you are thinking through the above arguments, you have touched only the edges of an ocean, you will be mistaken to assume that you know now the depth and breadth of the ocean! Are you willing to tighten your belts (your focus) to dig deeper into the depths of the ocean? Let us hope you have that deep drive in your soul to understand the creation processes and to dig deeper into the oceans of knowledge in the nature that was bestowed to us. This deep urge in you could help you to understand how the polarities work in every aspect of the life, and that is the only true source of any creativity and innovation; therefore, the steppingstone for the evolution to happen.
As you reflect further, you will realize that the polarities often manifest as conflicts. How could the TameFlow approach could help you to manage the polarities or conflicts of opinions? If those are not addressed with proper thinking tools and techniques, every one of us would step unto into a path of serious conflicts that could result into major dysfunctions in any contextual scenarios.
Here comes the beauty of the Logical Thinking Process - one of the key tools and techniques of the TameFlow approach. Of those, a combination the Evaporating Cloud - to visualize assumptions and conflicts - and the Goal Tree tool - to give direction towards the Unity of Purpose - will be very handy to identify conflicts and to capture assumptions underlying those conflict or polarities of opinions. Both of these tools gives the direction towards the Unity of Purpose and hence the power to resolve the conflicts via the Evaporating Cloud. When you apply those, you may get an opportunity to dissolve those conflicts or gain new knowledge and that might help you to create further innovation in your contextual situation.
“Make more money today and in the future.” The core philosophy of the Theory of Constraints. Today’s part represents stability and the future part represents growth. This is another form of the polarities or conflicts that we need to address at every step of our journey. As you can recollect, a dead tree is not flexible and, therefore, you lose all stability as it cannot grow; stability without growth is like a dead tree, and growth without stability is a disaster in the making( think exploding volcano). When stability and growth progress in balance, we have harmony. This is the ‘red curve and green curve’ model of Dr. Goldratt, which contains a lot of wisdom, beyond the apparent business dimension. [Thanks to Steve Tendon for contribution through this paragraph and for other ideas in the TameFlow approach section of this article]
As the way of thinking is the genesis for any manifestation, wouldn’t it be nice to begin your journey that would prepare a fertile ground to emerge a certain set of thinking processes? This step in your processes will help germinate the seeds of Thinking Processes which will become foundation for the set of tools and techniques/practices that you adopt/adapt to visualize all conflicts and polarities in your leadership development processes. Isn’t this the right way to develop a culture of Thinking Processes to generate additional knowledge which could be your true source of energy for any creativity and innovation in any contextual scenario? Wouldn’t this approach help you in a great way in your product development and operational processes when you aspire to have stability, as well as growth, and maneuverability in the VUCA world?
The TameFlow approach will provide a set of Logical Thinking Process, Tools and Techniques to tame the following flows: a) the Operational Flow, b) the Financial Flow, c) the Informational Flow, and d) the Psychological Flow. Adoption of this approach will help you to create and prepare your ‘ground’ which would provide an environment for emergence of a set of tailored tools and techniques, way of thinking, way of working to tame all the mentioned flows. In addition, this way to approach your transformational journey of any kind is the ideal way to begin; won’t you see benefit when you visualize everything and every assumption, as well, at every step of your journey, to dissolve conflicts as they emerge.
Please recollect again the core argument, the polarities of opinions are the source to generate new knowledge for creativity and innovation in whatever that you aim to do. Becoming aware of the polarities that manifest in conflicts is a powerful trait of Inspired Leadership which is one of the foundational elements of the TameFlow approach.
“Dr. Goldratt believes that there is no such thing as conflict in nature, so any conflict we experience is our own doing. Every problem is a conflict, and that conflict arise because we create them by believing at least one erroneous assumption. Thus, simply by thinking about assumptions that enforce the existence of a conflict, we should be able to resolve any conflict by evaporating it with the power of our thinking.” - Thinking for a Change by Lisa J. Scheinkoff
This article won’t go into the details on how to use these tools, you are encouraged to check the reference below (Thinking for a Change by Lisa J. Scheinkoff and The Logical Thinking Process of H.William Dettmer). However, please follow this community site for future articles which will extend the ideas and concepts mentioned here.
“It is not easy to understand a person whose foundation is invisible!”- John Heider, author of The Tao of Leadership.
Please explore further the ideas and concepts on leadership and management which were explored through a metaphor of the two sides of the same coin. Don’t you see polarities in leadership and management? How can you exploit these concepts in the development of leadership and management models in your transformational journey? Please check the discussion on this subject, here at TameFlow Community site.
PS: If interested to learn more on the concepts of the philosophy of the Tao Leadership, please refer to the book mentioned at the beginning of this article.
I would like to express my deep and sincere gratitude and thanks to Mr. Steve Tendon , The Creator of TameFlow and Managing Director of TameFlow Consulting Limited, for reviewing the article and giving valuable feedback and suggestions to the section “How The TameFlow Approach would add value value to the Leadership Development.”
I would like to express my deep and sincere gratitude and thanks to Mr. Daniel Doiron , Author of ‘Tame your flow’- Ultimate Agile/Kanban Book on Financial Throughput for Immediate Exponential Returns and VP of TameFlow Consulting Limited, for reviewing this article patiently several times from the initial draft stages to this final shape.
Sri Garapati is the founder and Principal of The Agility Mind Inc and an independent freelance consultant and researcher in organizational design, social systems, and its underlying challenges. He has more than 18 years’ experience in IT, healthcare, and the technology industry at various levels, from executive to program/project management. Mr. Garapati’s work has focused on strategic planning, business unit development, IT applications, software product development, and organizational design. His unique skills allow him to take raw ideas/concepts through to product development and fully functioning business units; he has developed four different business units in startup mode. Mr. Garapati also brings to his work various concepts and models from Agile, Lean, TOC, and systems thinking, as well as from the sciences of complexity, psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, human nature, and several others, to help in designing organizations agnostic to models/ frameworks and tailoring these ideas to the organization’s environment. His strengths foster the designing of a learning organization that will evolve through shared understanding, values, principles, and problem-solving tools. Mr. Garapati holds a patent for a software product through Xerox Corporation. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and www.TheAgilityMind.com and https://tameflow.com/blog/2020-06-08/campfire-talks-10/
- John Heider, The Tao of Leadership, Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching Adapted for a New Age.
- H. William Dettmer, The Logical Thinking Process
Thinking for a Change by Lisa J. Scheinkoff
Know more about The TameFlow approach and get the book at discount here https://tameflow.com/book/tame-your-work-flow/