Change Leadership Certification

using Polarity Approach to Continuity and Transformation [PACT™] Process

The Paradoxical Theory of Change

“Change occurs when one becomes what he is, not when he tries to become what he is not. Change does not take place through a coercive attempt by the individual or by another person to change him, but it does take place if one takes the time and effort to be what he is – to be fully invested in his current positions. By rejecting the role of change agent, we make meaningful and orderly change possible.”

Beisser Arnold, MD

What does it really take to Lead Change successfully?

How often do change projects and initiatives you lead fall flat on your face? Have you been at a loss to proof that money spent on change has made a difference? Have you experienced that gut wrenching feeling of failure as you watch people walk away from the one initiative you believe is a must do for the organisation to move forward? How about the feeling of betrayal by the very people who own the change, i.e the leaders? If your answers to the above questions are either “many times” or “Yes” then you may want to rethink what it takes to lead change in a complex and paradoxical VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) world.

Leading Change in a Complex World

Many times, we talk about change as if there is an option-“Am I going to adopt the new strategy or continue using the one I know and works for me?” creates resistance to change. That resistance is significantly reduced by replacing Or with And. “How am I going to hold on to what I value in the old system And gain the benefits of the new strategy?” This is because change is paradoxical-a movement of two interdependent realities; (a) the past that helps us to recognise the future and give it meaning (Continuity), and (b) the future that is also changing the meaning of the very past with which we can recognise the future (Change).

Leading change is about working intentionally with the change polarity (paradox, dilemmas) and supporting people to navigate the tensions between the two poles (A AND B), investigating the assumptions embedded within them, and facilitating spaces for these tensions to be grappled with while moving forward to the preferred future.

BSEA and Polarity Partnerships work together to bring you tools and processes that help you become more adept at Recognising and managing polarities. These include:

  • A Polarity Map® –a simple yet robust model providing a picture of how the change polarity looks
  • Polarity approach –a way to combine your tacit wisdom about polarities with our map and principles so you can see them more clearly and leverage them more effectively
  • A Cloud-based Evaluation and Polarity Resource Portal.

PACT is an organisational change and development approach informed by a complexity perspective. It sets to help you make sense of the experience of being in the midst of change. Unlike many change models that presume clarity of foresight or hindsight, PACT focuses on the essential uncertainty of participating in change events as they happen and enquires into the creative possibilities of such participation. PACT encourages participants to live with the immediate paradoxes and complexities of organisational life, where they must act with intention into the unknowable.

You will learn how to identify polarities also called paradox/wicked problems/dilemmas and how to use “both/and” Polarity Thinking™ to leverage complex and critical challenges that all leaders, teams, and organisational systems face. You will use Polarity Thinking™ concepts, practices and tools (including the Polarity Map® and the Polarity Assessment™) and gain experience leading change in your organisation.

Anchored in the paradoxical theory of change, polarity management and complexity theories, the PACT approach is applicable to any ‘problem’ /dilemma/polarity/ paradox/’wicked’ problem that is not solvable, including:

  • Culture Change
  • All strategic change initiatives –strategy and transformation implementation,  IT transformation projects, goals and objectives implementation, balanced scorecards, performance measurement implementation, etc.
  • Facilitated individual change -coaching, mentoring and counselling etc.
  • Employee appraisals including 360 degrees
  • Teambuilding
  • Leadership
  • Social change

PACT™ is a 5-step process –Seeing, Mapping, Assessing, Learning and Leveraging

Pact Process

Seeing-In this first step, we learn to suspend own biases, assumptions and expectations to give room to self and others to appreciate the immediate paradoxes and complexity of our situation. This helps open the doors to seeing that reality has multiple perspectives leading to multiple explanations leading to multiple solutions as well as seeing how the individual, group or organization creates own difficulties by blocking expression of parts of itself. It is also about seeing an individual, team or organization and their polarities more completely and exploring lost contact and resistances in the dilemmas.

Mapping is a values and language clarification process that helps you organise the wisdom generated in Step 1. Using a Polarity Map, You are able to capture the Upsides (values/beliefs/ Positive Results of focusing on poles) and the Downsides (Negative Results of focusing on the Upsides of both poles and to agree on the Greater Purpose that answers the question “Why it is important to leverage the poles of a paradox?”

The combination of the two realities contained in the poles supports the engagement of key stakeholders (those who are influenced by or could influence the process for which you are building the map) in each step of the process.

In Assessment, you involve different stakeholders representing the variety of perspectives in (and outside) the organisation to evaluate how well you are currently managing the change and the impact of your actions on your Greater Purpose.

You use Polarity Partnership’s online assessment tool to get real-time results. This reporting assures there is no lag time in your assessment process, and results are immediately available.

Learning involves giving meaning to the assessment results. What have you learned from this process so far? How do you understand and interpret the results? What contributed to the results, whether positive or negative? Key stakeholders” presence enhances the richness of this step. What you learn from this step supports the actions you take in the next one. In

Leveraging, you identify Actions you need to take to help people to safely interrupt patterns of behaviour that are not serving them and experiment with others more suitable to the change. Since both poles have their own particular values and strengths, reestablishing contact between them is the crucial first step in being able to use all their values and strengths in the best interest of the individual, group, or organisation. In this step, you also revalidate Warnings, measurable indicators that let you know you are getting into the downside of one pole or the other. Here again, having key stakeholders present will improve the quality and quantity of the Actions and Early Warnings.


Our cloud-based Polarity Resource Portal provides best-in-class support for anyone wanting to learn and do more with change, Polarity concepts, practices and tools. A sampling of benefits include:

Step-by-step support in the 5-Steps of Seeing, Mapping, Assessing, Learning and Leveraging Polarities

Public and Personal Polarity Map® Libraries of common Polarity wisdom experienced across a broad range of contexts and industry sectors

Ready-To-Use and Customized Polarity Assessments for Individuals, Teams and Organizations

Tutorial Videos, Case Articles. Webinars and Podcasts


PACT™ is a practical hands-on course delivered both as a certification programme for individuals and in-house programme for teams.

Course Benefits

The course will be taught as a hands-on workshop using interactive lectures, practical examples, case studies, shared participant experiences, and practice sessions. The learning goal of the course is to learn how to live in and with polarities and leverage them for better results.

Certification Requirements

Participants are required to complete the five-day training and to demonstrate comprehension and understanding by applying PACT™to a change movement in the organisation or in their personal life.


    BSEA is a Strategy and Performance Management consulting and training firm that provides simple, practical performance improvement solutions that incorporate proven methodologies and software. Training and change management are an integral part of our solutions.


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