face a une proposition, une réaction pourra être catégorisée en :
un concern ( préoccupation)
une opinion ou avis
objection : je ne peux absolument pas adhérer à cette intention , cette proposition le concern , ou préoccupation: j adhère à la proposition, mais je vois des trucs qui pourrais nous faire échouer l’opinion ou avis: je vois d’autres manières de le faire, j’ai une autre idée connexe, je sais comment faire mieux, on pourrait optimiser etc.
Seule l’objection est bloquante et doit être traitée. les concerns sont traités si on a le temps, et les opinions ne sont pas traitées, s’il y a eu une phase de réflexion (transparente) préalable.
Lors d’un tour d’objection, On recueille les réactions par categories. (les objection, puis les concerns, (si on à le temps). les opinions sont juste déposées, le cas échéant).
Pourquoi 3 niveaux ?
L’objection questionne la validité de l’intention; le concern, la trajectoire; l’opinion, les moyens. (les questions: ou on va, comment on y va, avec quoi )
Un seul niveau, et les objections manquent de finesse et c’est manipulable 1.
Si il est dit ” quelqu’un a-t-il une objection ?”, et la seule réponse possible est oui ou non, il est courant de voir sortir des objections qui n’en sont pas, et c’est l’interminable débat sur ce qu’est une objection , et pas. 2.
Donner un deuxième choix, le “concern”, permet de bonifier la proposition sans “bloquer”, de permettre l’énoncé des risques perçus.
Offrir le troisième choix des opinions, c’est discriminer le avec quoi du quoi, et permettra la créativité ou la réactivité impulsive de se déposer, et de se mettre de côté.
tips: (le facilitateur remercie avec “merci de ton opinion” , ce qui recadre en “on va passer pour maintenant”)
Notons que 3, c’est aussi la limite du cerveau limbique, ça permet de décider avec son “instinct”.
Un seul niveau, c’est “popularisé” par la sociocratie de Edenburg. (1980 en NL, 2006 à l’étranger) 3
Fin, très fin, trop fin, et trop compliqué à expliquer, surtout au début . Quand les groupes sont prêt à aller plus loin que les 3 niveaux, la discipline du groupe s’est généralement posée et les 7 niveaux de finesse ne sont plus nécessaires . ( surtout si il y a eu une phase de réflexion préalable, transparente) .
[@miyashiro_empathy_2011]: Miyashiro, Mary. 2011. “Empathy Factor: Your Competitive Advantage for Personal, Team, and Business Success (English Edition) eBook: Jerry Colonna Marie R. Miyashiro, Jerry Colonna: Amazon.Fr: Amazon Media EU S.À R.l.” 2011. https://www.amazon.fr/Empathy-Factor-Competitive-Advantage-Personal-ebook/dp/B005PSF5BG/
Manipulable, car si la question est posée par une personne autoritaire avec un regard fort, ça va monter la barre de l’assertivité nécessaire pour oser dire “objection”. C’est plus une demande de soumission qu’une recherche d objection “raisonnable”. voir la définition↩
According to Aristotle (Posterior Analytics) there were four basic types of causes:
Antecedent, necessitating or precipitating causes,
Efficient or constraining causes
Or precipitating causes relate to past events, actions or decisions that influence the present state of a thing or event through a linear chain of “action and reaction”. This is probably the most common form of causal explanation that we use to describe things.
Relate to future objectives, goals or visions which guide or influence the present state of the system giving current actions meaning, relevance or purpose. Final causes involve the motives or “ends” for which something exists. In this sense, final causes often relate to a thing’s role or identity with respect to the larger system of which it is a part.
Involves ongoing relationships, presupositions and boundary conditions (or lack of boundaries) within a system which maintain it’s state (regardless of the chain of events that brought it there). Constraining causes tend to be more “systemic” in nature, and may be defined in terms of potential constraints which were not present as well as those which were.
Essentially relate to fundamental definitions and perceptions of something. The “formal cause” of a phenomenon is that which gives the definition of its essential character. Formal causes actually say more about the perceiver thant the phenomenon being perceived. This type of cause is related to what Aristotle called “intuition”.
Clearly, any one of these causes taken to be the whole explanation by itself is likely to lead to an incomplete picture. In today’s science we look mostly for mechanical causes, or what Aristotle referred to as “antecedent” causes. When we study a phenomenon scientifically we tend to look for the linear cause-and-effect chain which brought it about. These understandings are certainly important and useful but do not necessarily tell us the whole story of these phenomena.
Identifying constraining causes would involve examining what holds a particular phenomenon’s current structure in place, regardless of what brought it there.
Searching for final causes, would involve exploring the potential aims or ends of these phenomena with respect to the rest of nature.
[@fauvet_socio-dynamique_1992]: Fauvet, Jean-Christian. 1992. La socio-dynamique du changement. Paris: Editions d’Organisation.
[@watzlawick_changements_2006]: Watzlawick, de P, J Weakland, and R Fisch. 2006. “Changements, Paradoxes et Psychothérapie,” 23.
[@taesch_ecocycle_2018]: Taesch, Luc. 2018. “Ecocycle.” Serendipity. June 1, 2018. https://www.taesch.com/references-cards/ecocycle.
[@rice_process_2016]: rice, Keith. 2016. “The Process of Change – Keith E Rice’s Integrated SocioPsychology Blog & Pages.” 2016. http://www.integratedsociopsychology.net/articles/the-process-of-change/.
Most managers are facing daily problems, and cannot (really) solve 95% of them, once and for all. These problems recur, change forms or move across the organization.
There are various explanations or excuses, like lack of time, urgent problems, too complex, too intricate.
Until one day,
They get depressed, or burned out, or
They are replaced, but most of the time, some things change, but nothing change
In fact, what they don’t know is that 95% of problems in life are not problems … but paradoxes.
And paradox cannot be solved … but dissolved.
You cannot tackle them by getting closer, and analyse, but by stepping back, and letting go. See the bigger picture and relate things.
And If you cannot spot the difference between a problem and a paradox, you may just end up like them…
§1 — What is a Paradox ?
A paradox is not a problem. A problem is a situation where a Task is to be performed and for which there is no known solution or systematic method of resolution. Or when an obstacle prevents progress, or achievement of what one wanted to do. Once the solution is found, or obstacle is overcomed, the problem is considered as solved. Gone.
A paradox is not a dilemma. A **dilemma **is a problem offering two possibilities, neither of which is unambiguously acceptable or preferable. The house is on fire , and you can save only one of the two , your daughter or your companion… This offers a tough choice, but it can be done.
A paradox is like Buridan ’s ass . Where in a donkey is placed midway between a stack of hay and a pail of water and dies of both hunger and thirst since it cannot make any rational decision between the hay and water, as when it goes towards the hay, it gets farther from the water, and reversely.
Or a mother that offers two ties to a child, one red and one blue. He wears the blue , and she says, « You do not like the red one ? » Next day he wears the blue, and she says, « You do not like the blue one1 ? »
§2 — Why is it an issue ?
A Paradox cannot be solved . You cannot find a (definitive) « solution » to a Paradox.
A Paradox may be confused with a problem unless you know how to recognize them. And if you do not recognize it, you may end up trying to solve it, endlessly…
Intuitively, we naturally shy away from paradox , and2 this provides a motivation to go back and resume business as usual, as if nothing happened.
Is it frequent in Organisations ? In modern organisations, you can see trends , described as movement from one way of thinking or acting to another:
from neglecting the customer to focusing on the customer;
from individual to team;
from competition to collaboration;
from centralization to decentralization;
from a lack of quality consciousness to high quality consciousness;
from rigid structures to flexible arrangements;
from autocratic management to participatory management3 .
On an organizational level paradoxical situations rise when for example we try to build teams out of (individualistic) experts; trying to explore and innovate while exploiting resources to optimize; thinking globally while acting locally; fostering creativity while we increase efficiency; or trying to be in control when letting go of control seems to be working better4
§3 — How do we Get out of this ?
If Paradox cannot be solved, can we dodge it ? Unfortunately, it cannot be avoided , as it comes with complexity, and antagonist proposals.
How is it built ? Bateson suggests seeing it as two layers of injunctions :
Two proposals (perceived as ) antagonist , or as polar opposite.
And missing one means a failure .
The obligation to choose
This is obviously a system that cannot be solved. In the previous example, the proposal is to wear a tie, one tie ( the red OR the blue) and complaining about the other one is « not liked ».
This can be fixed it by removing the obligation to choose ( reframing) . Wearing no ties, or both !
There may be a third layer: the interdiction to talk about it, and say it is a paradox. This could be the case if this questioned an « authority » for example ( The mother, law, rules, habits).
Paradox is in the eyes of the beholder . The notion of good or evil, success or failure are the values and beliefs of those who watch the situation.
The paradox is a call to questions some assumption the paradox relies on.5
Taking a step back foster the possibility to see the frame, to change paradigm, to see things with a new perspective.
The good news is we all know how to break out of a paradox , and manage the polarities, at an individual level . Do you prefer to exhale or inhale ?
§4 — What would we gain in doing so?
Any kind of transformation will create paradoxes. Whether it is a digital transformation, an agile transformation, some cloud one, or a business model transformation, a transformation means that several systems, set of rules, and cultures will cohabit in one organization6 . This will create paradoxes and manifest as tensions.
There is a limit of complexity that the organization can absorb if you don’t. Size, growth rates, adaptability, stability, innovation are limited with ‘problems only’ approach. This is particularly acute in High Tech environment, where managers have a strong technical background, and have a background of ‘fixing problems’. This could become a limiting bias. Trying to push for one polarity (rather than managing the pair) creates an opposite reaction somewhere in the organization, bringing guerilla warfare and movement to a halt.
There is a limit of complexity you can absorb if you don’t. The higher you are in the Organization, the more exposed you are to a VUCA world. Not only are you exposed to the tensions of the many layers of internal organizations; but the outside bring some more, creating a network of constraints very dense, fuzzy, sudden and unpredictable…
§5 — Conclusion
A problem can be solved, a paradox cannot.
One may well confuse a paradox for a problem, unless you seek to distinguish them.
A paradox calls for reframing, adapting the frame of thoughts, typically a paradigm shift (whether a problem occurs IN the frame).
Transformation is about changing the frame (not only the content).
The higher you go in the pyramid, the more you will be exposed to paradoxes.
§6 — Going Further
Here we focused mainly on social paradoxes, especially the double bind.
7 Present a larger taxonomy of paradoxes, including logical ones, and regards organization as Complex Adaptative system (CAS)
8 (book) present paradox in organization as polarity, and deals with the one listed in the section 2. (individual vs team; competition vs collaboration; …) . His seminal paper from 93 is still here9 . This is worth reading to see the three categories of problems10 and why either/or does not work for paradoxes.
Graves11 describes in his spiral dynamics a set of values, which match the societal level of complexity . Once a level stretches too much the current set of values and beliefs , then coherence melts. A new set emerges then, in counter-reactions of the previous one ( antagonistic) , to frame the new beliefs and values.
Watzlawick pioneered the study of double bind12 ( on Schizophrenia) in 63 with Bateson . The following are still very useful to understand inter and intra-personal levels :13 explain the way we deal with changes, and the very humorous14 how we create unhappiness.
Generic theories and models:
Morin , on top of his many work15s on complexity , explains in its « sociology16 » how complex systems are sustained by antagonist tensions.
The Ecocyle present a model with four polarities, and is very applicable to product portfolios, organizational transformation, etc.
Wardley17 extends the four zones of Cynefin , and present the many tensions18 across the four zones (Strategy, HR).
§6.1 — Bibliography [bibliography]
Braathen, Petter. “Paradox in Organizations Seen as Social Complex Systems.” Emergence: Complexity & Organization 18, no. 2 (2016): 1–14.