Managing Polarities

Polarity management is helpful for handling some (not all) differences in Ethical Societies.  A polarity describes a situation where there are two poles, which are in some tension with each other, and where overstressing one will result in understressing the other. Rather than the typical problem-solving approach, which looks at both ideas and sees them as a choice for focus, polarity management looks at both poles as necessary and looks at how to balance them so that neither overwhelms the other.

Typical Ethical Society polarities include trying to balance stability and change, balancing management (day to day operational success) with leadership (keeping an eye on the vision and potential future), strong clergy/professional leadership and strong lay/volunteer leadership, serving the members and reaching out to the wider world, nurturing members and challenging them to transformation (“comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”), etc.

Here are some resources to understand and apply polarity management: