Summary of Paradoxical Thinking

How to Profit from Your Contradictions

Berrett-Koehler, more...

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Paradoxical Thinking book summary
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." [ – Ralph Waldo Emerson]


6 Overall

5 Applicability

7 Innovation

8 Style


Jerry L. Fletcher and Kelley Olwyler examine how you use paradoxical thinking - contradictory ways of approaching a situation. Then, they discuss ways to use your paradoxes to your strategic advantage. You can use their "pendulum" to help you recognize the positive and negative ways you express these paradoxes - so you can apply the positive actions to difficult situations. They invite readers to analyze themselves and resolve a current problem. The book can help you devise more creative solutions to personal and work situations. However, while the system is fairly straightforward, elements do seem complicated and may be difficult to apply on your own. getabstract recommends this book as a novel approach to problem solving and a worthy way to regard goal setting without the nagging voice of consistency in your ear.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What paradoxical thinking is
  • Which five steps form the paradoxical thinking process
  • How paradoxes and contradictions can help you to solve problems


The Nature of Paradoxical Thinking
Very successful people seem to be both contradictory and comfortable with their contradictions. In fact, when individuals perform at their best, they almost always approach situations paradoxically. The advantage of paradoxical thinking is that it enables...
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About the Authors

Jerry L. Fletcher specializes in helping corporations handle the human side of large-scale organizational change. His clients include Digital Equipment Corporation, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, IBM and Procter & Gamble. He also is the author of Patterns of High Performance and Human Growth Games. Kelley Olwyler focuses on one-on-one executive coaching, team consulting and innovative thinking processes. She has trained and managed consultants in the U.S., France, the United Kingdom and Latin America.

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