A key aim of this research was to identify how to senior leadership teams work together to manage the competing demands of an innovation context. The research included 68 interviews with global leaders and two year-long case studies. An important finding of the research program was that ‘magnetic alignment’ is important for purpose-driven innovation. It was identified that leadership teams can transition from mere survival during times of crisis to productive functioning and thriving when there is a shift in sensemaking practices that enable this alignment. The study demonstrates that it is possible to achieve magnetic alignment from oppositional orientations where leaders in the team are compelled to rally around a clear sense of purpose that embodies polar positions simultaneously, and this paper outlines how it is possible to apply these principles in practice.