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One Key Tool: The Polarity Map

820 words - 4 pages

This week’s reading was Chapter 6: One Key Tool: The Polarity Map. This chapter begins by defining Polarity Map as an especially useful tool for achieving Integration on the paradox management continuum, developed by Dr. Barry Johnson and the Polarity Management association. (Schuman, A., Stutz, S., & Ward, J.L. 2012, p.115) The author’s made it very practical and easy to grasp the concept of the Polarity Map by using the family business of a lady name Anna. According to the reading, Anna was from a large Greek family that owned global food business and she was faced with many of the paradoxes that arise with the third generation of family business. Anna was able to provide testimonies about the difficulties that she faced as the matriarch of the family business while switching the family from an either/Or mindset to a both/AND mindset. She express that her predecessors didn’t tolerate disagreements and conflicts and that they lived in a state of uncertainty because no one was free to discuss their real concerns about anything. In order to change the culture of the business, it was decided by the powers that be to develop an internship program that will be beneficial to the business and the family. This was done successfully for the family business by implementing the Polarity Map process.
Anna’s family business first assemble a group that was made up of both family members and members of the company’s HR staff, thus satisfies the necessity to have parties from both the family side and the business side. This helps clearly identify values that will be supportive of the needs of the business and the needs of the family. This process is very beneficial to Anna’s family because it allowed the family to hear the concerns of the HR personal while also allowing the HR personal to hear the concerns of the family. “A Polarity Map forces awareness of the benefits of both sides of the paradox In this way, the process builds understanding and respect for a position that may, in the past, have seems foreign or in clear opposition to the business’s or family’s established practices… because the Polarity Map approach is grounded in realism, it also recognizes the need to explore the shadow sides- or potential downsides of each value in addition to its upside.” (Schuman, A., Stutz, S., & Ward, J.L. 2012, p. 119)
The most unique quality that stands out about this process is...

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