Competing Values Leadership

Competing Values Leadership

Creating Value in Organizations

New Horizons in Management series

Kim S. Cameron, Robert E. Quinn, Jeff DeGraff and Anjan V. Thakor

Creating value in a firm is an enormously complex endeavor. Yet, despite its complexity, value creation is the objective of every enterprise, every worker, and every leader. The Competing Values Framework can help leaders understand more deeply and act more effectively. In the first book to comprehensively present this framework, the authors discuss its core elements and focus attention on rethinking the notion of value. They emphasize specific tools and techniques leaders can use to institute sustainable change.

Chapter 4: Tensions and Trade-offs: From Either/or to Both/and Thinking

Kim S. Cameron, Robert E. Quinn, Jeff DeGraff and Anjan V. Thakor

Subjects: business and management, business leadership, international business


4. Tensions and trade-offs: from either/or to both/and thinking In the previous chapters we have made the point that the Competing Values Framework introduces leaders to a new way of thinking. It highlights the tensions, tradeoffs, and conflicts that occur in almost all organizations, and it provides a way to diagnose and approach these tensions. Leaders must consider the competing values embedded in each of the four quadrants and identify appropriate tradeoffs in their strategic priorities and resource allocation decisions. Value creation occurs by effectively managing the tradeoffs highlighted by the four quadrants. Another implication of the Competing Values Framework, however, is its ability to help leaders move from either/or thinking to a both/and thinking. That is, the framework can help leaders focus on the integration of competing values. In this way, apparently conflicting and opposing priorities are combined in ways that lead to the creation of value. This chapter elaborates the idea of both/and thinking in which leaders are encouraged to consider apparent opposing tensions and contradictions simultaneously. Finding the integration among divergent perspectives is the strategy being emphasized. We look first at the natural processes by which integration occurs in differentiated – or opposing – systems; then we discuss how the integration of opposites using both/and thinking can produce value in organizations. REACTIONS TO UNCERTAINTY AND CHANGE To illustrate the process of both/and thinking we will consider two science fiction movies about the same topic, the first encounter between the human race...

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