David Bowie’s This is not America a song for the ages that appears particularly poignant at this time.

The numbers don’t lie – it’s so close to 50/50. You would be hard pressed to find a more impressive example of division in the world at this time and so representative of what we see in so many of our systems – politics, economics, race, climate, health….

Polarities facing us at every turn. And so evident in America right now. How could a country be split almost 50/50 across almost 150 million voters into two camps holding completely opposing views.
This is a polarity. Two sides – each one committed to their view and convinced of their world view and equally convinced of the wrongness of the other side – with a chasm of disconnect between the two.

So let’s refer to David Bowie for some words of wisdom: ‘A little piece of you will die. A little peace of me will die.’ What do we know to be true with polarities:

  • It’s never the case that one view is completely correct and the other completely incorrect
  • That both sides have something to contribute and something that they must give up or let go of
  • That it can never be resolved from within the frame that gave rise to it
  • That it is purely a sign, a symptom or a calling that a broader perspective is required in order to bring this blocked and troubled system back into flow
  • That both sides must be prepared to sacrifice elements of their strongly held views (the ‘dying’)
  • That both sides must be prepared to acknowledge elements of the opposing view

Resolving polarities in organisations (the classic ‘us’ and ‘them’) is just one aspect of systemic leadership.

Contact us to find out more.

David Fudge.