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Duality – an Orgtology Perspective

duality---an-orgtology-perspective Duality - an Orgtology Perspective

Orgtology begins through Hypothesis 2x. In this we assume that anything needs receptive and projective parts to exist. E.g., Org uses a strategy to stay relevant and operations to perform. Strategy is disruptive because it creates change. It is therefore projective. Operations must receive this change, make sense of it, and then hold it. It is therefore receptive. They are dual because they oppose each other, and one cannot exist without the other. Operations gives certainty through efficient repetition. Strategy pollinates such repetition through effective change. Without strategy operations will lose its relevance. Without operations strategy would have no point. They are inverse because they draw from the same resource pool. This means that more of one will infer less of the other. That makes them an inverse duality.

The effect of duality

Any closed or contained system has projective and receptive parts. E.g., the human brain holds crystalized and fluid intelligence. Crystalized intelligence drives your DNA. It is implied, and runs the systems within your body – breathing, movement, sleep, etc. Fluid intelligence is tacit and runs the way you think, make assumptions, etc. Implied intelligence must be receptive to one's tacit projections. In that, a tacit belief will only be true if implied intelligence can translate it into a physical reality. E.g., if you jump out of an aeroplane without a parachute, the belief that you can fly will not be enough to change gravity.

Organisations work the same way. Lack of consciousness in one part might nullify your consciousness of the other part. E.g., If you manage without leading, you might steer performance that is not relevant. If you lead without managing, you might negotiate relevance that drives no performance. To craft a strategy that has no operational value is senseless, and vice versa. This rule applies to everything else. In so, Truth gives meaning to a Lie, whilst Chaos is the creator of Order. In that, Unjust will make Just.

Are all dual relationships inverse?

The answer is both "Yes" and "No". When projection comes from the outside, duality is direct. This means that receptive and projective parts can independently increase or decrease. In that, more of one does not imply less of the other. Things that project from the outside changes the nature of duality. These would be things such as customer profitability, risks, etc. E.g., CRM has an external projective part and an internal receptive part. Its projective part is customer profitability. Its receptive part is the relationship that Org has with its customers.

Yet, this internal part has its own projective and receptive elements. There is customer acquisition which is projective. Then there is customer retention which is receptive. Org controls these aspects, so they draw from the same resource pool. In that they are both dual and inverse. Here comes the difficult part to grasp - jointly they are receptive to customer profitability. So, that which creates a receptive element, also holds projective elements within.

Org does not control the profitability of a customer. In other words, a customer has so much money to spend. Org cannot change that. The relationship with a customer is created through retention and acquisition. This relationship will only be meaningful if it becomes direct. In other words, fluctuation in one part will not impose movement in the other. I.e., strengthening a relationship will not give me a bigger salary, thus I still have limited money to spend on your product. Thus, our relationship is direct. This example shows that duality is more complex than face value might flaunt.

The trinity of duality

When receptive and projective parts interact, they create a third thing. One can call this the Whole, which is both receptive and projective. As a human, you came about through sperm that projected towards a receptive egg cell. That interaction made you – the Whole.

Like that, organisations are born through the dual existence between purpose and intent. Purpose creates operations, which ensures performance. Intent creates strategy, which keeps Org relevant. To understand performance, we use systems intelligence. To understand relevance, we use human intellect. To measure performance, we use efficiency. To assess relevance, we use effectiveness. To define performance, we create processes. To define strategy, we create projects. Purpose is the receptive part of Org, and intent is its projective part. By understanding this one understands the duality of organisation. Jointly they create Org – the Whole.

The Whole can only be conscious through its duality. By killing a dual part, you kill the whole. E.g., moral behaviour needs both "good" and "evil". Without evil there can be no good, and vice versa. In absence of any one part, "morality" will lose its existence. Therefore, the "other side" can only exist if one is conscious of such "other side". If there is only "good" or only "evil", there will be no "good" or "evil".

Performance and Relevance is the same to Org. Without performance Org will produce nothing, and to be relevant, there must be an output of some kind. Contrarywise, without relevance, performance is a wasted effort. Each part must carry a "seed" of the other, so that they can continue to procreate. Independent existence is not possible. Absence of any part within a dual relation will imply death to Org.

The origin of duality

We find duality in philosophy, mathematics, psychology, science – in fact in everything that exists. There are positive and negative numbers; a conscious and an unconscious; male and female; etc.

But the history of duality is much older than portrayed in philosophy, art, or science. In Abrahamic religions there is the Garden of Eden that had a tree of knowledge and a tree of life. There was also Adam and Eve. The ancient Greeks taught philosophy through paradox. In Taoist teachings we find it in Yin and Yang. All this has been around for more than 2000 years.
The Duality of Performance and Relevance

In Taoist teachings, Yin is feminine and Yang masculine. Yin has a dark shade and she is the nourisher. She holds things together and brings meaning and order to her significant other. Yang has a light shade and is the aggressor. He improves all that is, and in doing so, ensures survival to his bride. Yin gives meaning and context within which Yang can induce change and bring new hope. In their opposing nature, they survive and grow as one entity. One can never overpower the other. Through co-existence, they create the energy that any system must have to live (network of life) and grow (knowledge of good and bad). Without this friction there can be no Org. Yin gives it context whilst Yang enables its metamorphosis. In orgtology we equate the receptive parts of Org to Yin and the projective parts to Yang.

Relation to performance and relevance

The receptive parts of Org ensure performance whilst its projective parts secure relevance. Org performs if it delivers on its purpose. E.g., a farmer who brings meat to a community, or a central bank who must preserve value.

Performance gives stability and order through processes that consistently cycle. Relevance means something else. It has the task to ensure that purpose will still be meaningful with the passing of time. E.g., a bookstore that stays relevant by also merchandising online. To be relevant, Org must respond to a changing environment. If such environment does not find its purpose relevant, Org will lose its meaning.

Performance is receptive whilst relevance is projective. Jointly, they ensure the existence of Org.

When is something receptive?

The receptive part of duality is stable; passive; implicit; feminine; contractive; cooling; parasympathetic; inward; dielectric; and foundational. It holds an interdependent "here and now" view, which finds its sanction in purpose. It derives meaning in "stillness" and its nature is to peacefully submit.

Cyclic processes drive the performance of Org. This movement is slow, consistent, and decided. It gives stability and certainty to Org. Its efforts are tireless when it strives to drive processes with mathematical precision. This is the receptive part of Org. At its core is the power to procreate. For this reason, performance is cyclic, never ending, and for ever and a day evolving. The receptive parts of Org will ensure that it produces outputs.

When is something projective?

The projective part of duality is uncertain; energetic; tacit; masculine; expansive; heating; sympathetic; outward; magnetic; and motivational. Intent incites the receptive parts of Org. This inevitably creates a desire to break loose from a current situation. In other words, intent creates a need for change. Therefore, this part of Org will always strive to be independent and to achieve goals. In line with its nature, it will look to find meaning in change, and will aim to perceive context. Its character is fast, sporadic, and discriminative. Intent also has a constant need to aggressively dominate.

These traits all aim to renew, and they are necessary if Org wants to stay relevant. Of course, rebirth is only possible if there is the power to "inseminate". The projective parts of Org will relentlessly strive to deconstruct any construct. In doing so, it marks its territory with a new and improved construct. Through its projective parts, Org creates disruption. It does so to stay relevant.

How to distinct one from the other

To separate receptive from projective traits, one can ask a few questions. The first part of each question will show a receptive part, and the second a projective part.

  • Are you repeating something or are you doing something that you have never done before?
  • Are you perfecting the past or creating the future?
  • Are you maintaining or changing something?
  • Is the result of your activity certain or uncertain?
  • Are you working with fact or insight?
  • Are you maintaining the road or building it?

Please do not see one part as more preferable than the other. They co-exist, which means they do not have a linear relation.


Nothing in Org has absolute traits. Trying to define a part in an absolute way might prove both hard and confusing. To one entity something might be projective and to another it might be receptive. To construct something, one must deconstruct many other things. E.g., on face value something like entropy is a receptive algorithm. Yet, for an entity that aims to stay alive, entropy is incredibly projective. Entropy begins the process of death. It will take life apart and give such parts to new life.

As rule of thumb, purpose defines receptive parts whilst intent defines projective parts. Whilst projecting, Org will strive to boldly do what has never been done before. As a receptive system, it will abidingly repeat a known past.

Which part is chaos, and which is order? This will entirely depend on how useful they are to the entity that must experience them.


Join the Orgtologist Certification Program (OCP) and become a Certified Orgtologist with the International Orgtology Institute

The program is highly suitable for senior managers, directors, executives, and those who aim for senior positions within an organisation. The OCP has four parts. They are: orgtology theory, organisational design, strategy, management and leadership. This is an advanced program. To enroll, you must hold a bachelor's degree with three years of work experience. On completion, you can enroll as an Orgtologist with the International Orgtology Institute (IOI).

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© 2019-09-04: Derek Hendrikz

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