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Looking for "AND": Navigating Polarities with Brian Emerson, PhD

  • 10 Oct 2019
  • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • Zoom Webinar: The link to join will be sent to those that register


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Looking for "AND":  Navigating Polarities
Brian Emerson, PhD

The world is filled with polarities – seemingly opposite states that must coexist over time for success to occur. Candor and Diplomacy. Structure and Flexibility. Hope and Reality. Self and Other. While many approach these polarities with either/or thinking, research shows that leaders, teams, and organizations that navigate them using a both/and mindset significantly outperform those who don’t. The trick is knowing how.

In this session, Brian Emerson will discuss his research that explores the many ways people, organizations, and political systems suffer when they treat polarities as an either/or proposition. And, he’ll share the Polarity Navigator, a practical tool that helps people reframe polarities with a both/and mindset which, in turn, leads to more positive relationships, more sustainable results, and greater resiliency.

Join us for a rich discussion on how you can use this framework to harness the tension inherent in polarities to be a positive and creative multiplier in any system of which you’re a part.


Brian Emerson, Ph.D.is Principal and Founder of Riverstone Endeavors, a firm committed to helping leaders navigate organizational complexity. He has an impressive history of partnering with organizations around the world to achieve sustained results in leadership development, aligning organizational culture and strategy, and harnessing the power of polarities— holding two seemingly-opposites at once, e.g., Structure:Flexibility, Decentralize:Centralize, etc. Clients attribute Brian’s success to his

"uncanny insight and ability to balance human dynamics with business needs,"the way he "simultaneously challenges and inspires," and "getting results while having fun."

His research led to the development of two related theories. Suffering Paradox theory explains what happens when groups have no objective way to deal with paradoxical situations, and the theory of Navigating Polarities outlines the dynamics of groups using the Polarity Navigator to effectively leverage paradoxical complexities.

In addition to consulting and coaching, Brian teaches about polarities in leadership and organizations at the University of Notre Dame, the University of Maryland, and as co-director of Georgetown University’s Certificate in Navigating Polarities.

He is the co-author of two books, A Manager’s Guide to Coaching, and Navigating Polarities: Using Both/And Thinking to Lead Transformation, the first book in the Navigating Polarities series, which he co- edits (due out fall 2019).

Registration is free for Supporting and Lifetime members of the MAPP Alumni Association.  

Registration for Basic members costs $20.  Want to get this webinar for free? If you are a Penn MAPP graduate, you can pay the $49.95 dues now to become a supporting member. You'll get free registration for this webinar and for other continuing education webinars coming up in the next 12 months.


Registration for the general public costs $25.

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