ILA Podcast

Both/And Thinking

Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leadership Podcast. Episode 171 - Dr. Wendy Smith - Both/And Thinking. Listen Now. The Official Podcast of the International Leadership Association

with Dr. Wendy Smith 


Scott talks with Dr. Wendy K. Smith to discuss her book Both/And Thinking: Embracing Creative Tensions to Solve Your Toughest Problems (with Marianne Lewis). Their research aims to help leaders (and all humans) more effectively manage paradoxes with both/and thinking.

“Our mission is to invite people to not see tensions as a bad thing. But rather see tensions as a force of life, where we, as individuals, have the opportunity, have the agency to approach them differently.”

About Guest

Dr. Wendy K. Smith is the Dana J. Johnson Professor of Management and faculty director of the Women’s Leadership Initiative at the Lerner College of Business and Economics, University of Delaware. She earned her Ph.D. in organizational behavior at Harvard Business School.

She began her intensive research on strategic paradoxes—how leaders and senior teams effectively respond to contradictory yet interdependent demands. Working with executives and scholars globally, she received the Web of Science Highly Cited Research Award (2019, 2020, and 2021) for being among her field’s 1 percent most-cited researchers. She received the Decade Award (2021) from the Academy of Management Review for the most cited paper in the past ten years.

Her work has been published in such journals as the Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Harvard Business Review, Organization Science, and Management Science. She has taught at the University of Delaware, Harvard University, and the University of Pennsylvania–Wharton while helping senior leaders and middle managers worldwide address issues of interpersonal dynamics, team performance, organizational change, and innovation.

Wendy lives in Philadelphia with her husband, three children, and the family dog.

Host Scott J. Allen

Scott Allen

Scott J. Allen, Ph.D., is the Standard Products—Dr. James S. Reid Chair in Management at John Carroll University. He is an associate professor and teaches courses in leadership, management skills, and executive communication. He is also a communications coach, consultant, author, podcast host, and entrepreneur. For almost two decades, he’s worked with clients to improve their leadership and communication skills. Learn more about Scott here.

About Phronesis

Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders offers a smart, fast-paced discussion on all things leadership. Scott and his expert guests cover timely, relevant topics and incorporate practical tips designed to help you make a difference in how you lead and live. Phronesis is the official podcast of the International Leadership Association.

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