Opposites on the Edge

Opposites on the Edge

As much as complexity and chaos force challenges on us; equally, they provide opportunities. I dare say that our world with its enormous potential for connecting with each other put so many opposites on the edge and the challenge is how to manage such opposites to turn them into great opportunities.

Examples of opposites on the edge include the examples in the image below. The tension of opposites on the edge provide a great opportunity to turn this tension into the creation of new ideas and approaches.

One great example is VISA Card. The management allowed for the competition whenever it served a purpose with the simultaneity of allowing for enhanced collaboration among competitors. For example, faulty customers who fail to pay their dues for VISA shall not do so with other cards. So, why not collaborate and remove those customers who create a shared risk among competitors? It is the sweet zone falling between opposites that allow for new forms of collaboration and competition. Here, we allow for the flow. We don’t say competition should be eliminated; rather we say let it thrives in areas where it helps competitors to be creative and meet challenges with new thinking. AT the same time, it fosters collaboration where it needs to be. Collaboration is the order while competition is the chaos of the system.

Take another example of happiness and meaning. A secretary said one β€œI am happy doing nothing”. This is a void happiness for it deprives life of its meaning. Happiness doesn’t necessarily lead to a meaningful life. A meaningful life may not necessarily lead to a happy life. What we need is to foster happiness and meaningful life the same way we allowed for collaboration and competition to work together. I enjoyed reading an interview by Neda Semnani who interviewed a Harvard physiologist Dr. Susan David. In the interview DR. David said β€œThere is evidence that people who value happiness, people who are focused on being happy, and who set happiness as a goal for themselves become less happy over time. Happiness, we’ve found, is the byproduct of pursuing things that have intrinsic value to us”. We don’t ignore happiness, rather we turn it to give meaning to our lives.

Let us look at opposites as systems. If we interfere in the system. Don’t introduce errors in it by interfering with it. This is what Deming’s Funnel teaches us. Instead of fighting it accept it and go with the flow of its nature. The funnel experiment is a famous illustration by Dr. W. Edwards Deming to show the adverse effects of adjusting a process when not required.Β Accepting the existence of opposites is a far better approach than trying to eliminate one of the opposites.

I believe that we are moving into zones of tension between adjacent opposites and it is our agility that shall be of great help to turn this tension into meaningful lives and businesses.
Please share your experience of dealing with opposites and the challenges they impose on us.


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Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#34
Precisely is what you wrote "When leaders are focused on their own needs they cant see these quiet shifts happening in the funnel". I find this point of extreme significance because I don't recall anybody mentioning these "quiet shifts" in the funnel. Always, there are mentions of somebody shifting the funnel, but shifts in the funnel without external influence has not been discussed to my best knowledge. This point is worthy of deep investigation.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

2 years ago #26

#33
I believe for me leadership is summed up in a selfless act of serving. This is not some benevolent statement, but rather a statement we need to seek our own meaning through others in leadership. This is difficult to do when we are concerned with our needs in meaning. Leaders who are stuck in this paradigm cant see the graphics as displayed in the post. Only when it is a towering inferno do the see the challenges. Two months ago it was merely a small issue that was building. When leaders are focused on their own needs they cant see these quiet shifts happening in the funnel. I have always thought that this is what separates the definition of management and leader. Management is concerned with process and outcome meeting goals. Leaders are concerned about the ability to draw meaning for everyone and a reproducible process that builds on itself. Enhancing collaboration while increasing the competitiveness within the market.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#32
I did mention briefly Deming's funnel in the buzz and that you have highlighted this point is a source of immense pleasure for me. Yes, it is who passes the funnel and what passes through the funnel and I may add also who throws the ingredients in the funnel. Nudging the ideas or the funnel of ideas is one way that Deming's simulation included. I encourage readers to see the simulation and the link is provided in the buzz. I completely and wholeheartedly agree with your conclusion Harvey Lloyd that why provided the purpose and the shared goal. I challenge people going in one direction and focusing their efforts unless they have the goal shared and even owned by every team member. If not, their paths shall diverge in all directions leading to chaos.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

2 years ago #24

In my initial read of the graphic i mused about the complexity of group dynamics. Any day any person shows up with emphasis on any of the paradigms displayed. Also on either side. To the average person this would appear to be chaos. To a good leader it is merely their job. Figuring out the various components that are being presented and aligning them so each person within the group can produce at their best, is their job. Your funnel review made me think that even a great process that is working well can fail as the graphic shows the different ingredients going into the funnel. They all have to fit through the hole at the bottom. Not only fit but also bring meaning to those who participated. I refer here to the people as the ingredients. How we go through the funnel is just as important as what goes through the funnel. Ultimately leading to a shared "why" the funnel is important. If the why is shared then the tension displayed in the graphics will bring meaning. Without the shared why, after a few cycles of the funnel, meaning will give way to chaos in the ranks. This sounds complex. But the reality is having the vision to see small challenges within the graphic circles is the key. I call it nudging. When you see the challenges arise a mere nudge conversation can refocus the why and stop the negative thoughts from developing a life. This concept is captured inside "holding thoughts captive". A process where we see others and ourselves expressing unbridled thoughts. Airing out our immediate thought if you will. Not realizing the impact this automatic process has on others. Holding thoughts captive and give them time to be tested within the group is better than thinking out loud.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#30
The great thing about your comments dear Harvey Lloyd is that you give meaning to life and our understanding of it. The skilled leader knows how to turn competition into collaboration as you stated. I may add also the leader knows when to foster collaboration and allow room for healthy competition so that the team members may use their creativity to bring new ideas. I always say I am against separate thinking- meaning this or that. Better for me is this and that. The issue is when and what to allow for competition while increasing the dose of collaboration. You make me rub my hair to expand soon on your great comment.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

2 years ago #22

The Dr. David quote really brings home the context of the post. Meaning is found in leading or managing the opposites you portray/encounter. Amazingly there is only two ways for meaning to happen. Spiritually or with other humans. The two though are inseparable. The reflection of who we are has to start with a premise of absolutes that we sense are beneficial to not only self but also to others. We then act out the absolutes within relationships and gather reflection that these actions bring meaning, to self and others. Your graphic shows the places of reflection as we execute with others. Leadership is consistently watching the interplay of groups at these junctions. Realizing that each position brings diversity. Using fun/learning as only one, we can see the fun person as already having the skill while the new person is developing the skill. Joining these two would make for a healthy skill development process. However the fun person, already having the skill, could develop the competition mind set and not be willing to collaborate with the individual needing the skill. Leaders need to be aware and have a language to change competition into collaboration. Although a benefit to the company if the leader can pull this off, the greater benefit is the fun individual gets to learn the line between competition and collaboration. They learn a new skill from the leader. The leader has now found meaning in life.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#28
This is a nourishing comment dear . You expressed eloquently the opposites on the edge "The opposition I faced here in the openness to listen to ideas and being a listener". Yes, a leader must have both as much as (s)he should be able to act as leader/follower. Those leaders who can be both distinguish themselves. Not surprising that genuine leaders are rare. Thank you for highlighting a new dimension of leadership and for sharing the buzz.

🐝 Fatima G. Williams

🐝 Fatima G. Williams

2 years ago #20

A very timely post dear Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee I just faced a challenging situation in an interview with a small startup CEO about 2 years old in the market not being open to my openness and ideas I had for the organization. While I had the HR director onboard it seemed to me that he was not open to having suggestions and discuss ideas. He said everyone has ideas and I told him the ideas that bring value are what the matters and standing out as a good employer is what drives passion and performance. Treat your employees well and your business will automatically grow. The opposition I faced here in the openness to listen to ideas and being a listener. The learning for me is a leader who is not ready to listen may have a lot of lessons to learn before he has a great team on board and hence will miss out on having me aboard as he clearly could not see the value I wanted to bring to the team. Nevertheless it was a great learning process to understand leadership in a different context from a successful startup.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#26
Thank you dear Debasish Majumder and I like the devil's role you are playing in this comment. Yes, tension between opposites has emerged intensively from our own developments and connections. Command and control versus connect and connect and collaborate is one recent trend. What I am saying in this buzz is that it is not this or that; more, it is both by by encouraging collaboration without turning a blind eye to command and control. Another modern example, beside those example cited in the buzz, is leadership versus management. Again, it is booth and it is choosing when to encourage one more. Increasing connections may lead to rigidity gap and hence applying some command and control might be necessary sometimes.

Debasish Majumder

Debasish Majumder

2 years ago #18

I wonder, are we really responsible for our moving towards tension? i guess, it is the external world and the matter all which are available in the universe along with the available conditions with regard to time and space determine our happiness as well our living conditions in respect to the chaos we confront sir Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee. hardly i guess, an individual can play any prolific role in order to eliminate chaos in our social fabric. as being human being we only have society where collaboration contains a specific magnitude. however, wonderful insight sir. precisely the way you analysed the unity in opposites. enjoyed read and shared. thank you for the buzz.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#24
Fully agree with you. The construction beam presented me with the idea of light beam. This was a way to tease your mind CityVP \ud83d\udc1d Manjit

CityVP Manjit

CityVP Manjit

2 years ago #16

#21
I wish I had thought of the beam of light analogy - that is another good way of looking at this. The example I provided is literally more concrete than that, where the beam is a physical beam the construction worker walks on - so the analogy is more to do with losing balance. The unconscious processes require zero life balance but what tips us off that beam is conscious thought - we literally confuse our unconscious processes, which then project (or guess) what our danger or need is. Construction workers do fall but they do not fear heights https://simplifiedsafety.com/blog/how-do-i-get-over-my-fear-of-falling/

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#19
Oswaldo Enrique Diaz Delgado- I loved your concluding philosophy "Therefore, we can and must understand that the purpose of sharing desires (ideas) is and will be to pay attention as well established by the intention to help the human being in his joys, in his sorrows and in his own desires expressed from the heart , is one more reason that adds to the alternatives that should be offered to others, symbolizing the human over all material interest".

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#18
Dear Jerry, this is a lovely expansion of the idea. I am interested now in comparing the impact of VISA Card logo with that of Mastercard logo. It seems very useful to do so.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#17
CityVP \ud83d\udc1d Manjit- I love your expression "To be unconsciously happy is the greatest happiness of all'. it is the beam of light that help us construct a great life. This is in emulation of your beam light example "who see the visible danger of that beam become absolutely conscious of falling...". I love this.

Jerry Fletcher

Jerry Fletcher

2 years ago #12

Dr. Ali, Being visually oriented can get in the way of deriving full meaning. Your first comments about Visa though completely correct were over-ridden in my mind as you r graphics kept reminding me of the Mastercard logo. The company is removing the word Mastercard from the pair of interlocking red and yellow circles where it has resided for more than 50 years in the belief that the graphic alone is one of the world's best known icons. And sop it goes

CityVP Manjit

CityVP Manjit

2 years ago #11

Our conscious being is a sliver of the greater unconscious existence that is the chief operating system of our existence. Our unconscious existence is not the opposite of our conscious existence but where an opposite exists is in that which is visible to us (the conscious) compared to that which is invisible (unconscious). It is the visible that trips us but also the invisible that helps us make the most out of the visible. A construction worker working on a beam on the 100th floor of a newly building being built easily and unconsciously walks that beam - but we who see the visible danger of that beam become absolutely conscious of falling. That is why setting happiness as a goal is a delusion because we want to touch visible happiness and not the unconscious level that happiness actually resides. To be unconsciously happy is the greatest happiness of all, but goals make all of this conscious and then we set the trigger on unintended consequences, then we begin to add silly prefix's to our goals and begin calling them "Smart Goals" rather than allow goals to merge with our unconscious or autonomic existence - because at the autonomic level life is constantly flowing.

CityVP Manjit

CityVP Manjit

2 years ago #10

Our conscious being is a sliver of the greater unconscious existence that is the chief operating system of our existence. Our unconscious existence is not the opposite of our conscious existence but where an opposite exists in that which is visible (conscious) and that which is invisible (unconscious). It is the visible that trips us but also the invisible that helps us make the most out of the visible. A construction worker working on a beam on the 100th floor of a newly building being built easily and unconsciously walks that beam - but we who see the visible danger of that beam become absolutely conscious of falling. That is why setting happiness as a goal is a delusion because we want to touch visible happiness and not the unconscious level that happiness actually resides. To be unconsciously happy is the greatest happiness of all, but goals make all of this conscious and then we set the trigger on unintended consequences, then we begin to add silly prefix's to our goals and begin calling them "Smart Goals" rather than allow goals to merge with our unconscious or autonomic existence - because at the autonomic level life is constantly flowing.

CityVP Manjit

CityVP Manjit

2 years ago #9

Our conscious being is a sliver of the greater unconscious existence that the chief operating system of our existence. Our unconscious existence is not the opposite of our conscious existence but where an opposite exists is that which is visible (conscious) and that which is invisible (unconscious). It is the invisible that trips us but also the invisible that helps us make the most out of the visible. That is why setting happiness as a goal is a delusion because we want to touch visible happiness and not the unconscious level that happiness actually resides. To be unconsciously happy is the greatest happiness of all, but goals make all of this conscious and then we set the trigger on unintended consequences, then we begin to add silly prefix's to our goals and begin calling them "Smart Goals" rather than allow goals to merge with our unconscious or autonomic existence - because at the autonomic level life is constantly flowing.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#12
Your comment is precise dear Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador and the quote from Covey is spot on. I may also add to this quote that Opportunities exist in differences, not in similarities. This is the theme of this buzz. Thank you for sharing an outstanding comment and for sharing the buzz.

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

To enable us to develop and accomplish, learning to accept those who have contrasts is critical. We can't challenge ourselves in the same way we are challenged by others. All things considered, it is important we understand and respect the differences so as not to be disillusioned but rather gain from them. β€œStrength lies in differences, not in similarities” - Stephen Covey

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#9
I am glad that with security issues that led to images not not appear that I still received a wise comment from you dear Roberto De la Cruz Utria. I loved your expression "opportunities arise to the talent". Concise and to the point. Yes, the issue of happiness was recently discussed in a lovely buzz by our friend CityVP \ud83d\udc1d Manjit. I shall be discussing this issue again in a dedicated buzz.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#5
I shall definitely get the book Zacharias \ud83d\udc1d Voulgaris. Thanks for the recommendation.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#4
Not as great as your great mind dear Clau Valerio

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#3
Such a rich comment dear Clau Valerio that I would consider expanding it a little and publish it as a buzz. We need to remember simple facts. If we close our eyes we shall not enjoy the sunshine. If we don't extend our arms we shall not enjoy the sea waters or the refreshing wind. Holding tightly to anything may result in losing it. I appreciate every word of your comment dear Clau as much as I admire your poetic style of writing. I extend my arms to the fragrant wind blowing from your end. Thanks also for sharing the buzz.

Zacharias 🐝 Voulgaris

Prof. Jordan Peterson deals a lot with the Order-Chaos opposition, particularly in his book "12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos." I definitely recommend it!

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#1
Great points dear . Yes, we need to set aside times to review and reconsider our attitudes and perceptions to life and in particular to those items that we consider obstacles and negative. It is my hope that we may solicit ideas and exchange of experiences of such changes in attitudes that helped see the world differently and in more positive ways.

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