Expertise

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

For an in-depth collection of our public talks, podcast interviews and articles, please visit jengoldmanwetzler.com/media-coverage 

Video

TEDx Talk: Free Yourself When Conflict Resolution Fails

Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler

Using an inspiring personal example, ASG founder Dr. Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler helps us see that when our attempts to resolve conflict fail, we can free ourselves by taking pattern-breaking action instead. She demonstrates how three practices — mapping out the conflict, honoring shadow values, and listening to our emotions — can help you free yourself from conflict 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: change our perspective to get the results we seek; turn difficult emotions from a liability into an asset; make differing values work for us rather than against us; prevent disasters and ensure positive long-term outcomes; and courageously speak and productively listen, even when it 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 a set of practices that allow you to free yourself from even the toughest situations and conflicts – at work, at home, and in public life – even without cooperation from others. Jennifer discusses how to harness challenging emotions, imagine and test optimal outcomes, and take the pattern-breaking actions required to bring lasting transformation to our relationships, teams, and organizations.

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TEDx Talk: The Power of Paradox

Wendy K. Smith

In our complex, hyper-competitive and global world, organizational leaders increasingly face tensions and competing demands. In this TEDx talk, ASG Principal Dr. Wendy K. Smith provocatively suggests that great leaders embrace competing demands simultaneously: they adopt a paradoxical approach (rather than staying steadfast in the face of such tensions). 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 disrupt recurring conflict and help people everywhere free themselves from the “conflict loop”. Blending mindfulness, Jungian psychology, and practical, step-by-step advice this book will free anyone from seemingly impossible conflict. Once you learn and apply these practices, you’ll reach your Optimal Outcome—which may be vastly different from what you originally imagined, but more satisfying than you ever dreamed possible.

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The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice, Third Edition

by Morton Deutsch, Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler & Christine Chung

This book chapter outlines a framework for successfully conducting field research and evaluating conflict resolution initiatives.

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Emotions in Long-term Conflict

by Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler

This book presents original research examining the links between the emotions of humiliation and anger with blame, aggression and depression. The book suggests that reactions to humiliating events involving collective-level identity characteristics (such as race, religion and nationality), as compared to personal-level ones, produce more externally-focused angry and aggressive responses.

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Selected Articles

“Both/And” Leadership

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

Great organizations don’t just survive – they thrive. Today’s accomplishments catapult tomorrow’s successes. Local achievements build toward a global triumph. The problem is that most organizations don’t thrive — many don’t even survive. Instead they become mired in ongoing conflicts, tensions and challenges that leave them stuck trying to move forward, which can ultimately result in decline and demise. 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, paradoxes. The model involves changing your leadership approach as well as shifting your organization’s practices.

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The Ambidextrous CEO

by Michael Tushman, Wendy Smith & Andrew Binns

In a hypercompetitive world, organizations must manage innovation and change 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 effectively doing so requires leaders to be ‘ambidextrous’. They describe what effectively ambidextrous leaders do and how they organize and support their senior leadership teams.

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Resolving Tough Conflicts - One competency at a time

by Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler

For all its successes, principled negotiation has its limitations. This article outlines the CIVIC framework, which enables organizations to effectively deal with persistent conflicts. CIVIC describes five competencies leaders can develop to transform difficult conflicts: Complexity, Interconnectedness, Values, Imagination and Courage.

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Paradoxical Leadership to Enable Strategic Agility

by Marianne Lewis, Costas Andriopoulos & Wendy Smith

As leaders seek agility and competitive, they face tensions around stability vs. flexibility, commitment vs. change, established routines vs. novel approaches. Drawing from five exemplary organizations, this article highlights how leaders engage these tensions simultaneously, with practices such as proactively identifying and raising tensions, avoiding traps of anxiety and defensiveness, and consistently communicating a both/and vision.

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The Yin and Yang of Management

by Wendy Smith & Marianne Lewis

Conventional training advises that when leaders face with competing demands, they should make tough choices and maintain a focused commitment. Yet in their recent research, Smith and Lewis challenge that idea, instead finding that great leaders are able to engage competing demands simultaneously and embrace inconsistency. These leaders are consistently inconsistent. This article brings together various streams of research to demonstrate the value of embracing the both/and, rather than leading for the either/or.

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Building a Compliance Culture

Risk Assistance Network + Exchange (RANE) featuring Dr. Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler

Culture risk assessment is an important component of ongoing risk management. Because an unhealthy culture can directly translate into human capital issues, reputational damage, and compliance risk, the ability of corporate leadership to set a vision for company culture that is adhered to on all levels is paramount. While most companies appreciate the overall importance of a healthy company culture, fewer understand how to evaluate and improve it. Recently 92 percent of CEOs said culture is important, but only 15 percent said their culture is where they want it to be.  This article provides important insights about how to build an organization-wide compliance culture.

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Making a Culture of Compliance Pay Off

Risk Assistance Network + Exchange (RANE) featuring Dr. Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler

Cultivating and maintaining a company’s culture of compliance is becoming more and more crucial to its success. Yet this understandably comes with a cost. Companies need to invest in both staff and technology to help implement this culture. The cost of not making such investments, however, is becoming more and more apparent. RANE interviewed Dr. Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler and two additional experts about how companies can build the right foundation for a culture of compliance and why it’s so important to a company’s bottom line for them to do so.

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