Expertise

Below is a curated selection of ASG Principals’ public talks, ground-breaking books, articles and podcast interviews on organizational behavior and conflict.

Click here for an in-depth collection of our public talks, podcast interviews and articles.

Selected Video

TEDx Talk: Free Yourself When Conflict Resolution Fails

Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler

Using an inspiring personal example, ASG founder Dr. Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler shows that when our attempts to resolve conflict fail, we can free ourselves by taking pattern-breaking action, even without anyone else’s cooperation.

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Talk @ Google: Conflict Mastery

Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler

In this talk, Dr. Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler teaches us how to courageously master the most challenging conflicts, even when that seems impossible.

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PON at Harvard Law School: Solve the Unsolvable - Even Without the Other Side’s Cooperation

Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler

This talk brings to life the concepts in Dr. Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler’s book, Optimal Outcomes. She introduces practices to free yourself from the toughest situations at work, at home, and in public life, and bring lasting transformation to your relationships, teams, and organizations.

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TEDx Talk: The Power of Paradox

Wendy K. Smith

ASG Principal Dr. Wendy K. Smith provocatively suggests that great leaders adopt a paradoxical approach. She highlights the nature of paradoxes, and strategies for effectively embracing them.

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Books

Optimal Outcomes: Free Yourself from Conflict at Work, at Home, and in Life

by Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler

Selected as a Book of the Month by The Financial Times, and based on Dr. Goldman-Wetzler’s popular course at Columbia University, Optimal Outcomes reveals eight groundbreaking practices proven to help people everywhere free themselves from the conflict loop.

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Emotions in Long-term Conflict

by Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler

This book presents original research examining the links between humiliation, anger, aggression and depression. The research suggests that humiliating events involving collective-level identity characteristics (such as race and religion) produce more aggressive responses than other types of humiliating events.

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Selected Articles

“Both/And” Leadership

by Wendy K. Smith, Marianne W. Lewis & Michael L. Tushman

Many organizations become mired in ongoing conflicts and tensions that leave them stuck trying to move forward. Based on 20 years of research, ASG Principal Dr. Wendy K. Smith and her colleagues present a new model showing leaders how to embrace, rather than solve, paradoxical tensions.

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The Ambidextrous CEO

by Michael Tushman, Wendy Smith & Andrew Binns

In a hyper-competitive world, organizations must manage innovation while simultaneously enabling stability and efficiency. Drawing on research across 12 top management teams, ASG Principal Dr. Wendy K. Smith and her colleagues argue that leaders must become ‘ambidextrous’. They describe how ambidextrous leaders organize and support their senior leadership teams.

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Resolving Tough Conflicts - One competency at a time

by Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler

This article describes five competencies leaders must develop to effectively deal with difficult conflicts: Complexity, Interconnectedness, Values, Imagination and Courage.

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These 4 Habits Could Be Making Your Life Harder

by Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler

Habits are hard to break, and that’s even more true if you aren’t aware of them. Becoming aware of conflict habits means the difference between staying stuck in a repetitive rut and becoming free from it.

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As Featured In

FT Business Books of the Month: February Edition

Optimal Outcomes is named a Business Book of the Month by The Financial Times.

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Steeped in Conflict? Here's How to Break Free

by Rodger Dean Duncan

The author interviews Dr. Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler about how leaders can free themselves from recurring conflicts at work using the Optimal Outcomes Method.

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6 Powerful Ways to Free Yourself Completely from Office Drama

by Marcel Schwantes

What if the conflict is so intense, so deeply emotional, or so complicated that people can’t even stand to be in the same room? The author outlines six ways to free yourself from conflict at the office based on the book Optimal Outcomes.

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Book Review: Optimal Outcomes

by Joshua Sinai

The author offers a review of the book Optimal Outcomes.

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Does Political Banter Belong in the Office?

by Virginia Backaitis

The author outlines Dr. Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler’s and others’ suggestions on how to handle talking politics with colleagues at work.

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6 Effective Ways to Set Boundaries With Your Family When Working From Home

by Stephanie Vozza

The author highlights Dr. Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler’s and others’ suggestions on how to work from home effectively while also managing family at the same time.

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Selected Podcasts

Dear HBR: Disagreeable Colleagues

In this episode of HBR’s advice podcast, cohosts Alison Beard and Dan McGinn answer listener questions with the help of Dr. Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler. They discuss what to do when you manage a high performer who gets on everyone’s nerves, your teammate unfairly berates you, or you don’t get along with your boss.

Listen to the podcast

Fast Company's Secrets of the Most Productive People: How to Stay Sane While WFH w/ Kids

Fast Company’s Deputy Editor Kathleen Davis and Head of Video and Podcasting Scott Mebus turn to Dr. Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler for advice on how to set expectations with your boss and coworkers, how to carve out time for both work and parenting, and how everyone should be rethinking work.

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Before Breakfast Podcast with Laura Vanderkam: Honor Your Shadow Values

Understanding people’s secret motivations is powerful. In this episode, host Laura Vanderkam describes how the concept of shadow values, from the book Optimal Outcomes, can help you save time and energy by understanding what drives other people’s behavior.

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Disrupt Yourself with Whitney Johnson: Optimal Outcomes

Conflict is inherent in the process of climbing an “S-curve” of learning. There will be challenges, there will be friction. Conflict is a constraint, so what do you do with it? Does it stop you or does it become a tool of creation? Host Whitney Johnson and Dr. Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler discuss.

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Play to Potential: Dr. Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler

Host Deepak Jayaraman and Dr. Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler discuss our tendency to look at conflict in simplistic, binary terms. Jen offers techniques to understand the various dimensions of a conflict and the interconnections between the various people involved in any situation.

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Negotiate Anything: How to Free Yourself from Conflict

With over 2.5 million downloads, Negotiate Anything is the #1 negotiation podcast in the world. Host Kwame Christian interviews Dr. Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler for a lively conversation about how to free yourself from conflict when collaboration seems impossible.

Listen to the podcast