How a ‘Paradox Mindset’ can help deal with competing demands
When we experience tensions and competing demands we often react defensively with a zero-sum, either/or approach. However, this leaves us always feeling like we are missing out on something. Not only are resources allocated with this in mind, our “inner talk” – what we say to ourselves about our choices – will reflect that struggle. This can lead to negative spirals and vicious cycles.
The 'paradox mindset' suggests an alternative perspective, accepting and learning to live with the tensions associated with competing demands. It is an understanding that these competing demands are not really resolvable, in the sense that they can’t be completely eliminated. How to adopt a paradox mindset? Here is a simple framework to help:
- Reframe the question: When considering tensions, think in terms of enhancement and enrichment. We can reframe this question: “Should I pivot or continue with what I have been doing?” to: “How can I both continue and pivot? How can one help the other? How can the way I have always been doing things provide me with the assets and resources to help me change to something new? How could the energy and potential from adopting something new sustain me as I continue to do the things I still need to get done?”
- Accept the tension and develop comfort with the discomfort. When we understand that a tension or a problem is a common, natural state, we are more likely to accept it. For example, adolescents might be stroppy, which can be annoying for parents. But it’s natural, they are finding their own identities. When parents understand that part of the development process for teens is to challenge authority, it is somehow healthy. It’s still not pleasant for the parents, but it’s less threatening. Acceptance is important as it gives us agency in a difficult situation.
- Distance yourself and search for new possibilities: When we feel torn between competing demands, we can try to distance ourselves from the problem and connect with others to get a different perspective. For those especially extreme moments, input from others is vital as even those with a paradox mindset may have difficulty finding solutions on their own. Research shows that when we make decisions for others rather than for ourselves, we are more likely to come up with creative solutions. Sharing our struggle with others provides comfort and can help us see the bigger picture.
When we need to address competing demands with limited resources, we have to change the way we think. When it’s doing more with less (the scarcity issue), changing the question from “Can I do my work with so little?” to “What new possibilities does this situation enable?” puts a slightly more positive spin on it.
We found that when we help people approach tensions with a paradox approach, they become more creative. Going through these three steps allows us to reframe, accept and find creative ways to cope with tensions.
For more read here.
How do we manage the change journey?
McKinsey & Company
To ensure that plans stay on track and evolve when necessary, leaders must give employees a sense of ownership in the process, as well as the energy needed to change. This article shows how to:
- Instil ownership
- Establish strong governance
- Monitor progress and adjust the program dynamically
- Use high-impact two-way communications
Five easy ways to motivate your remote team
There are key strategies that can help you improve your remote set up.
- Keep you mission top of mind: It seems simple enough, but this basic mission-oriented communication can be forgotten when going remote. When you don’t see your employees in office, you lose the physical, human-to nudges to communicate the big picture. This is not something you share once and move on from. It requires constant communication to make sure your team rallies behind the mission.
- Always provide feedback: If you’re out of sight, feedback can be out of mind. Stay on the ball, and be a coach to your team. Provide regular feedback on how they can constantly become better. I recommend creating a process around regular feedback. For example, set up weekly 1-on-1s with your team to provide quick feedback on their work.
- Think about remote company culture: When moving to a remote set up, you want to be thoughtful on how you can maintain your company culture. While you can’t replace water cooler talk, or hang out with your colleagues at lunch, you can find other avenues to make sure your employees feel culturally connected. We send emails every two weeks where we compile shoutouts across the team.
- Empowerment: Make sure you continue to empower your development team to make decisions, and show them you trust them. We hold quarterly meetings on how we can improve our remote processes.
- Breaks: We learned that in a remote setup, many people on our team would find it difficult to delineate work life from home life leading to exhaustion. To address this, we started instituting a process to require breaks. We now end our meetings 5 to 10 minutes early and ask our team to play a game of solitaire, one of the games we’ve developed.
A report on CIO and cybersecurity priorities and challenges
This 'CIO and Cybersecurity' Report looks at the CIO’s increasingly important role, and how that role interacts with the practice of cybersecurity. Even for those CIOs who no longer have cybersecurity reporting directly to them, cybersecurity remains a critical key performance indicator (KPI).
The data uncovers a number of trends about the CIO and cybersecurity, including:
- CIOs tend to see their organisations as technologically advanced and are confident in their security posture.
- Despite this confidence, a majority of CIOs disclose that their organisations still experience significant intrusions, and that these events are having negative impacts.
- CIOs say their organisations tend to use point security products to cover the attack surface and compensate for this siloed architecture by attempts at integration and reliance on managed security service providers (MSSPs) to fill gaps.
For more read here.