Supplement: Section A
experiencing the downside of change. Their fear results in an over-
emphasis on stability and neglect of the need for the upside of change.
The resulting stagnation, if experienced long enough, undermines
Loyalty as people wonder if the organization is really going any-
where. There is “Felt” Job Insecurity as people experience the lack
of New Perspectives and the lack of New Challenges. Desperation
can set in and people who had been Unwilling to Take Risks end up
Taking Foolish Risks. The result of fearfully clinging to the Stabil-
ity pole is first the downside of Stability, then eventually, the down-
side of Change as well. Nothing breeds chaos like stagnation.
The same basic problem can develop on the other side of the
polarity. The fear of stagnation results in the overemphasis on
change and neglect of the need for the upside of stability. One can
then become stagnated in chaos.
In each case, you get what you are afraid of by clinging to its
apparent opposite. This is what Gail, Tom, and their system of
companies were dealing with. It explains how they could be experi-
encing the downside of change even though they were spending
most of their time at the stability pole.
What to Do?
So what do you do when you find yourself like Tom and Gail—in a
no-win situation? They had been involved in a one-pole focus and
were getting the downside of both poles. The first thing to do is rec-
ognize that you have a polarity to manage. Second, you must agree
on the content of the model. The third is to agree on the recent
dynamics within the model; i.e., in which quadrant have we been
spending most of our time lately? The fourth is to identify who is
tradition bearing and who is crusading. Then those crusading and
those tradition bearing can negotiate ways to keep the dilemma in
the upper two quadrants rather than the lower two.
As you will recall, it is often helpful to reverse the normal flow
through the quadrants to get a polarity unstuck. In this case, it was
important for Tom to be clearer about his support for Continuity
and other upsides of Stability (L+). He also would let Gail and the