303. Both/And Thinking with Marianne Lewis

Life is an incredible journey full of paradoxical demands that can sometimes feel overwhelming. But what if we could embrace both sides of the equation and turn these tensions into opportunities for growth? This is exactly what our guest Marianne Lewis teaches us in the groundbreaking book Both/And Thinking: Embracing Creative Tensions to Solve Your Toughest Problems that she coauthored with her colleague, Wendy Smith.

Delving into the risks of either-or thinking and the vicious cycles that can arise, Marianne and cohost, Yael discuss how binary thinking affects our lives. Packed with tools and lessons that will help you see the world with fresh eyes, you’ll learn tips on how to reframe questions, embrace paradoxes, as well as navigate complex tensions. If you’re interested in exploring new ways of thinking and solving tough problems, this episode is for you!  

Listen and Learn: 

  • Why do we have difficulty escaping “either/or” thinking, and what impact does it have?
  • Why is it important to understand and embrace paradoxes in order to move away from binary thinking?
  • Question framing with the word ‘how’
  • Negotiating conflict in a constructive way
  • The ways in which identifying a higher purpose can lessen friction between opposing factions
  • A few tips for setting guardrails to help you do your job and all your roles more sustainably
  • The impact of shifting from a scarcity mindset into an abundance mindset
  • Tools for responding to tensions in a positive way


About Marianne Lewis

Marianne W. Lewis is dean and professor of management at the College of Business, University of Cincinnati. She previously served as dean of the Business School at City, University of London. A thought leader in organizational paradoxes, she explores tensions surrounding leadership and innovation. Lewis has been recognized among the world’s most-cited researchers in her field and her work has appeared in media outlets, such as Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, and Newsweek. Her latest book Both/And Thinking: Embracing Creative Tensions to Solve Your Toughest Problems is co-authored with her colleague, Wendy Smith.

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Episode 303