The Power of Paradox

Wendy Smith

The Power of Paradox

- March 13th 2019

Wendy Smith is a professor of organizational behavior at Alfred Lerner School of Business at the University of Delaware.  She is one of the leading experts in the world on managing paradox in organizations.  Professor Smith teaches leadership, organizational behavior and business ethics. She has taught MBAs and undergraduates at University of Delaware, Harvard and University of Pennsylvania – Wharton. 

Her research has been published in journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, Harvard Business Review, Organization Science and Management Science. Professor Smith is currently an Associate Editor at the Academy of Management Journal.

Wendy is the author of “Both/And Leadership” in Harvard Business Review, which was assigned reading for this seminar.

Wendy started by talking about competing demands in strategy, and that these competing demands can be both intertwined and nested. 

She then talked about how we face the tension of competing demands not only in strategy but as leaders and in our personal lives.  The question then becomes how do make most productive use of these tensions. 

And that instead of the traditional approach of analysis followed by an either/or choice, we should instead consider what would both/and look like.  How can we manage these tensions productively? 

Wendy is an engaged and engaging speaker. 

Who kept her audience thinking...

... listening...

... talking, and...

... taking notes, learning about how to manage paradox and tensions productively in their professional and personal lives.