A picture of Wendy on the Innovation Show to discuss her book Smith Both And Thinking

Wendy Smith – Both/And Thinking Part 2

Unleash the Power of “Both/And” Thinking: Solve Toughest Problems & Make Breakthrough DecisionsTired of either/or choices? This episode of The Innovation Show cracks the code on navigating paradoxes. Join Wendy Smith, co-author of “Both/And Thinking,” as she reveals the power of embracing tensions for better problem-solving in your career, organization, and beyond. Discover the four types of paradoxes and practical strategies to manage them effectively. Learn from Lego’s success story and more!

Image of Wendy Smith and Aidan McCullen Interview for the Innovation Show

Wendy Smith – Both/And Thinking Part1

In this episode, we are joined by Wendy Smith, co-author of ‘Both/And Thinking: Embrace Creative Tensions to Solve Your Toughest Problems.’ Wendy elaborates on the nuances between dilemmas, paradoxes, and tensions, emphasising that these terms are not interchangeable and revealing the psychological and practical implications of recognising and navigating paradoxes. Drawing from her personal experiences and research, Wendy illustrates how both/and thinking can be applied to career decisions, organisational challenges, and broader societal issues. She discusses the limitations of either/or thinking and the harmful patterns it can create, such as intensification, overcorrection, and polarisation. Using examples from companies like Lego and Gore, Wendy shows how balancing tradition and innovation, centralisation and decentralisation, and other competing demands can lead to more sustainable success. The conversation also delves into the four types of paradoxes: learning, performing, organising, and belonging, and explores strategies to manage these tensions effectively. This episode is essential for anyone facing complex decisions in their personal or professional life. 00:00 Introduction to Both/And Thinking 00:12 Understanding Tensions and Dilemmas 03:08 Defining Paradox and Its Importance 05:23 Embracing Paradoxes in Real Life 08:00 Conditions That Highlight Paradoxes 16:51 Exploring the Four Types of Paradoxes 23:28 Navigating Organisational Paradoxes 31:23 The Paradox System Framework 36:57 Lego’s Journey Through Paradox 45:40 Conclusion and Further Resources

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