Paradoxes exist when seemingly contradictory activities operate together. We experience paradoxes in daily life as captured by such popular phrases as “tough love,” “do more with less,” “oil and vinegar,” “sweet and sour,” “work/life balance,” “catch-22,” “go slow to go fast,” “good and evil,” and so forth. When these inherent contradictions work together, success follows. Instead of focusing on either/or, paradoxes emphasize and/also thinking.

Why Paradox? Historical Roots

The concept of paradox, which shows up in today’s management thinking, is rooted in ancient philosophy. In Eastern philosophy the yin-and-yang concept views the world as holistic where all phenomena are “shaped by the integration of ...

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