Posts tagged ‘ambidextrous’

Leading the Way Out: From Versus to And

There are two sides to every story. We people (not you and me but all the others ofcourse) can be roughly divided into two broad categories if it comes to being right-handed or left-handed. Being either right- or left-handed has to do with Laterality. But there are also people that are both right- and left-handed. They fall in the category of ambidexterity and can combine both “features” easily.

What’s the relation with this blog’s title: from Versus to And? Well, it was just an example to make transparent that ambidexterity, which is inclusive and thus reflects the “And” part (left- AND right-handed) has benefits over laterality, which is exclusive and thus reflects the “Versus” part (left- ORright-handed). You might also say that this has to do with the differences between dualism/duality and oneness/singularity. The table below is an example overview of some terms that can be approached in an exclusive manner (it’s either the left column or the right column) and in an inclusive manner (both the left AND the right column are valuable). The idea is to show that inclusive reasoning (for example both structure AND relationship) might be more valuable in the end than exclusive reasoning (it’s either structure OR relationship).

Left-handed “values”

Right-handed “values”
Structure is most important
Relationship is most important



Thinking and acting from limitations or threats

Thinking and acting from possibilities or chances

A human being is just a factor

A human being is an ACTOR

Control is important

Spontanity is important

Trust is good, but control is better

Control is good, but trust is better

Only greed is better

Only sharing is better

So we might conclude that many aspects in life are dual and have there natural opposites (universal law of polarity). The left- and right handed aspects are identical in “style”, but different in “effect”.  In fact, just like day cannot exist without night, Yin cannot exist without Yang and greed cannot exist without charity (the ability to “share”). It’s all a question of the right balance. To sum up the message: if you practice the law of polarity you agree that the more ‘darker’ sides cannot exist without the more ‘lighter’  sides and stating that we need both in a balanced way prevents that we focus too much on either one of them. I wish you a happy inclusive reasoning yourney! 

Strategies for an ambidextrous IT organization

The shown figure of Newton’s Cradle is archived in Wikipedia.

I had some very busy weeks and are now trying to catch up again, goal is a (very) short blog each week. This week’s theme is about ambidexterity of IT organizations. Ambidexterity with people is about being equally performant using your left hand as well as your right hand.  Just like the example of Newton’s cradle where the left and right ball (compare to left and right “hand”) are ambidextrous, IT organizations that are optimally aligned to their Businesses should also be ambidextrous.  The desired ambidexterity should become visible especially in the types of services delivered: commoditized IT vs specialized IT.  Just like the left and right hand example of human beings, the IT organization should have a virtual left hand (in line with the left hemisphere of the brain) that is optimized for delivering the virtual left handed services. The left handed services can be bound to represent all commodity IT services. The virtual right hand (in line with the right hemisphere of the brain) should be optimized for delivering the virtual right handed services. These virtual right-handed services can be bound to represent all non-commodity IT services. So the strategy for an ambidextrous IT organization is to become equally performant in delivering commodity as well as specialty IT services. This strategy can come in place if the internal and external IT organization share all these viewpoints, agree with eachother to make a (strict) separation in optimizing the left-handed vs right-handed processes and agree to have or acquire competences that are matched to the type of IT services (commodity vs specialty) to be delivered.  This strategy for an ambidextrous IT organization can also be more easily matched to strategy development processes as described in one of the previous posts Differentiating Strategy Logic It can also be matched easily to separating IT value chains to match specific innovation goals. In one of my next posts I will add some drawings with models designed to  further explaine all of this. For the time being, here is a first draftof the model I have called “Differentiation Reference Model”. 











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