Managing Polarities – Dealing with concerns that look like problems but are not

Presenter: Gary R. Miller

Project managers earn their keep resolving problems when they arise and many have honed their skills over the years to spot them quickly and launce into action when they arise. There is a class of concerns, however, that masquerades as a problem and baits managers into taking action only to return again in the opposite form over and over. These concerns are known as polarities.


Polarities often show up in statements like:

  • We reward only the individual and need to shift to rewarding the team.
  • Our organization is too decentralized and we need to become centralized.
  • We are too internally focused and need to focus externally.
  • We have become rules driven and have lost sight of our principles (values).
  • We spend all of our time planning and never seem to get around to taking action.

In this interactive discussion we will explore how to spot polarities and distinguish them from true problems, and then develop a strategy to manage them (as opposed to solving them). Based on the work of Dr. Barry Johnson, this approach will lead to a more proactive strategy in expecting and anticipating both the positive and negative consequences of change and monitoring the environment for signs that the current position is no longer ideal.

This presentation fits the criteria to comply with the Leadership value of 1 PDU.

Our Presenter.......

Gary R. Miller is the Owner/Consultant/Facilitator of Process Driven Results in Albany, Oregon. With years of experience managing projects for organizations such as Hewlett-Packard, Oregon OSHA, NEC America, and The Aro Corporation, he currently helps companies find the true cause of difficult problems, make key decisions that are well supported and implemented, improve manufacturing and business processes, and manage critical projects. He is a certified program lead for Kepner-Tregoe Analytic Troubleshooting, Problem Solving and Decision Making, and Project Management processes and is a recent member to PMI and a certified PMP.  


Date: Wednesday, Feburary 15th, 2016

Start Time: 11:30 AM networking, noon presentation

End Time: 1:00 PM

Lunch will be served

Roth's Conference Center
1130 Wallace Road NW
Salem Oregon 97304
Members  $15 
 Non-members  $17
No-meal Discount  -$3
 Student Discount  -$7


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