things that flow into their opposite…

Benjamin P. Taylor
2 min readMay 29, 2024


Loads of contributions on this over at LinkedIn — join the debate at

Apologies (if you need them), this is a bit philosophical.

So many things in organisation (and in) life seem to contain or flow into their opposite — what would you call this?

* Metaphors, models, ways of thinking are both stages and cages — they enable and elevate our thinking, and trap it.

* Masks are a way to authenticity. Yet honest disclosure of yourself to others is always a performance (I teach honest, constructive, productive conversations — and I also emphases that ‘skill’ is a part of this).

* Setting or having boundaries is necessary for freedom in work and in life — and constraints are needed for complexity.

* If you want to lead across boundaries you are well advised to first reinforce, support, and appreciate those boundaries.

* The four dynamics of organisation each hold their opposites (segmenting/blending groups and teams, empowering individuals, harmonizing the whole)

* The key to group dynamics is the flows-within-flows of differentiation into integration and vice versa.

And so on and so on — like a river flowing back into itself, or the processes of nature, to do one thing effectively you might go in the opposite (or a circular) direction.

Do too much of a thing, you’ll create its opposite.

I have a few potential phrases for this — what would you call it?

And do you have any other examples?