Team meetings can sometimes feel like a scene from the movie “Groundhog Day.” Each time you meet, the same tough choices come up but you never settle on a clear decision. Operational efficiencies versus innovation. Sales growth versus profit margins. Both things are critical and important, but the trade-offs are hard if not impossible to make, and the problem persists along with the debate.
Or, trying to solve one problem creates others. When we try to focus on big data, we often forget the small things that make a difference to our best customers who are beginning to leave us. Or when we decentralize decision making, siloed thinking takes over and trust and collaboration suffer.
A key reason these problems remain intractable is the approach most leaders and their teams take: they apply either/or thinking. That is, they assume the answer is only one way or the other.
In fact, the better approach is by applying both/and thinking. Both/and thinking means “appreciating that complexity means opposing ideas can both contain truths,” and is one of the most important new areas to emerge in team development, and in creating the kind of innovation and problem solving required to compete today.
This article lays out the power of both/and thinking for business leaders and teams and provides insights and examples of how leaders can tackle their most difficult challenges with this leading edge approach.