Paradox Thinking

There is no doubt we are all grappling with an increasingly complex world where a single solution rarely exists. Dealing with unforeseen challenges on a daily basis is wreaking havoc on people and communities across the globe. This includes …

  • Surmounting stress and frustration to do the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Fierce struggles to find hope and belonging in systems of racial injustice.
  • Financial vulnerabilities and crises, crushing lives and entire industries.
  • Debates about climate change and how bad it is going to get.
  • Deeply divided nations across the globe.

Life has shown us time and time again that the deepest difficulties are riddled with inherent tension yet have within them their own answers. Getting at the answers requires new thinking, healthy dialogue, and systemic action. The time for leading with paradox (both/and) thinking is now!

Adopting an appreciation for paradox ends the practice of viewing conflicting needs separately and addressing one over the other. It unravels the assumption that if we analyze a situation there is only one solution. Paradox thinking supplements the type of linear thinking many consider natural today.

It is my hope that, as painful as it may be, the powerful grief and outrage so many of us are feeling can be turned into a powerful pivot for positive change.