The Key Polarity Indicator (KPI) was born out of a shared desire to help people see and make sense of polarities. Developed by Brian Emerson, PhD, and Kelly Lewis, PCC, the KPI is fueled by a wholehearted commitment to expand the world’s conscious capacity for love by supplementing either/or thinking with a both/and mindset, heartset, and skillset.

“Seeing” is one of the most challenging parts of learning to navigate polarities. It requires patience and practice – two things that are often in short supply. It was also a source of frustration for Brian and Kelly as they struggled to teach people to see. They knew far too well they could spend a day (or ten!) with people exploring how to navigate polarities but at the end of the time, many leaders and coaches would struggle to “see” and often ask “What polarities should I be paying attention to?” and “How can I help my client quickly identify the most important polarity to work?”  

Brian and Kelly also knew making sense of one polarity, much less six of them, can be tricky. Polarities often become an unconscious part of our identity – making them seem logical and comfortable in isolation and completely absurd and polarizing when appearing simultaneously. They can feel like tensions within ourselves, in our relationships and teams, inside our organizations, across cultures, and within societies. They can be the source of stunning success and significant suffering. 

All of this led to the creation of the KPI wheels that served as frameworks to help coaches and leaders see and diagnose the polarities impacting key areas of effectiveness. Shortly thereafter, these diagnostic models were turned into self and 360 assessments to make sense of, measure, and monitor some of the key human, leadership, and organizational polarities. More specifics of the creation process and research behind the wheels can be found here. Or watch the video interview below with Kelly and Brian discussing the creation of the KPI wheels.

Today, the Key Polarity Indicator is used by a global community of practitioners and clients to see and make sense of some of the most common polarities that show up in leadership and organizational life. Brian and Kelly are also the authors of Navigating Polarities: Using Both/And Thinking to Lead Transformation and the Principals of Andiron, a leadership consultancy committed to creating the space and tools for transformation. Click here to learn more about their work.

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Curious to learn more about why the KPI was created?

This video offers a glimpse into the minds and hearts of Brian Emerson, PhD, and Kelly Lewis, PCC, as they explore questions like “Why did you create the KPI?”, “What problem were you solving for?” and “What has most surprised and delighted you?”

Curious to Learn More?

We’d welcome the opportunity to explore how the KPI can support::challenge your organization’s leadership journey.