How do you think in two dimensions?

The concept of Counterbalanced Thought.

Most successful organisations are founded on clear principles, a strong culture, and an uncompromising commitment to values.

These are all critical components, and few would argue over their importance.

However, there is also a well-known saying that “too much of a good thing can be bad for you”. So, can an organisation have too much self – discipline, clarity, or commitment?

Within every principle, decision or approach lies the danger of committing or executing to the extreme. This “at all costs” or “without due consideration” mindset can be blinding to issues or specifics that can ultimately cause damage. It’s one-dimensional thinking.

To manage this risk, a concept worth considering is the system of Counterbalanced Thought.

Fundamentally, this notion allows an alternative measure to sit distant from the main agenda, to be called on when it’s recognised that the common approach, previous directive, or normal rules may not apply in certain instances.

People should understand that they carry responsibility for implementing the normal. But they become more empowered once they also recognise that in extreme situations, or abnormal circumstances, a counterbalanced view may be required. It’s a simple way of explaining how to take responsibility for not doing the normal when the normal is not appropriate.

Counterbalanced Thought can be executed across all aspects of an organisation. For example, promoting integration, but not at the expense of intimacy. Promoting variety but not to the detriment of clarity. Promoting flexibility but not to the sacrifice of structure. While the primary intent is defined, the counterbalanced alternative is identified. It’s the counterbalanced alternative that needs consideration when implementing the primary intent.

The concept of Counterbalanced Thought provides another dimension to the thought process. It changes what would be one-dimensional to two-dimensional. The next obvious question is, what makes three-dimensional thought? I’m still thinking about that. Stay tuned…