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The Unfinished Leader: Balancing Contradictory Answers to Unsolvable Problems by Cade Cowan, Peter C. Cairo, David L. Dotlich

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7

Scanning for the Right Paradox

Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted . . . but to weigh and consider.

—Francis Bacon1

Working as consultants around the world, we encounter a persistent concern among company CEOs: Leaders from the executive team on down have become prisoners of their experience. The CEOs say: We need people to diversify their thinking, exercise imagination, loosen up their control, get out of their comfort zones. Only by doing so will we come up with the right solutions to today's paradoxical problems.

We hear this concern so many times that we sometimes think of ourselves as coaches in open-mindedness. Leaders today recognize they spend too much time talking with their peers—and too much time ...

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