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Chapter 19: The Heart of the Matter > The Struggle Is the Solution

THE STRUGGLE IS THE SOLUTION

Most persistent problems that call for consultation have no clear right answer. This means we have to get used to facing the paradoxical nature of the workplace and the human beings we find there. Think about how you deal with situations where two opposing viewpoints are both true. Do we need more control, or less? More centralization, or more local control? Do people need more freedom, or will they abuse the privilege and go off in separate directions? Should we always tell the truth, or do we acknowledge the political nature of organizations? Will more technology and better information help, or is the problem one of motivation and lack of training?

Every consultation involves these kinds of questions. Even in very technical consulting, questions like these are embedded in the architecture of our solutions. We make a serious mistake if we choose one or the other, or even try to find a middle ground. We lose the benefit of the unique ideas at the two poles when we compromise for middle ground. The best outcomes emerge in the effort to understand the truth in both sides. The consultant’s task is to evoke an exploration of the polarity, postpone the quick answers, and make sure that the complexity of the question is acknowledged before action is chosen. It is in the struggle to transcend both sides that a resolution is found.


  

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