Contradictory and Interdependent
Both/And Thinking: Embracing Creative Tensions to Solve Your Toughest Problems by Wendy K. Smith and Marianne W. Lewis
Harvard Business Review Press, August 9, 2022
How can we deal with our toughest problems in the workplace and personally? How can we develop our most creative solutions? In their book Both/And Thinking: Embracing Creative Tensions to Solve Your Toughest Problems, authors Wendy K. Smith and Marianne W. Lewis offer insights into the world of paradoxes, i.e., contradictory yet interdependent elements that exist over time. How do we balance home and work life? How does a school maintain current strengths while leading innovation? Smith and Lewis offer ways to identify and group paradoxes. And they provide an approach to thinking about and addressing them whether they exist at an individual, intergroup, or organizational level in any industry. Schools, of course, face paradoxes at all levels, and either/or thinking can lead to division and stalemate. Smith and Lewis suggest ways to approach dilemmas that can yield creative solutions that connect and energize. As school community members embrace challenges – about general strategic thinking, diversity statements, curriculum, or mountains of other possibilities – a both/and approach may help reduce tensions and create new possibilities.