Divide Or Conquer: How Great Teams Turn Conflict Into Strength

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Penguin, 2008 - Business & Economics - 290 pages
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How relationships among leaders determine the success or failure of any organization

No one would dispute the idea that relationships matter in business. Yet despite their obvious importance, they remain largely a mystery. Why do some conflicts get resolved quickly while others lead to permanent animosity? Why do some relationships grow stronger over time, others more fragile?

Diana McLain Smith argues that most of us never even think about our relationships, at least not until they get into trouble—and by then it may be too late. Convinced that others have attitude problems, we focus on getting them to change. But that never works; it just convinces our colleagues that we’re the source of the problem. What we need to change, Smith argues, are the patterns of interaction between us.

Smith shows us how to build work relationships that are flexible and strong enough to survive the toughest challenges. She draws on fascinating case studies, especially the Steve Jobs/John Sculley meltdown, which nearly destroyed Apple in the 1980s.

This book will break the myth that relationships are too mysterious to decode and too difficult to change. It offers powerful tools that can help anyone, from new recruits to CEOs.
 

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Contents

Understanding Relationships
11
Transforming Relationships
85
Making Change Practical
163
coda Relational Sensibilities
197
APPENDICES
225
Acknowledgments
243
Bibliography
269
Index
283
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Diana McLain Smith is a partner at the Monitor Group, a global strategy consulting firm. For nearly three decades, she has advised hundreds of leaders while doing research on leadership, negotiation, and organizational behavior. She has taught at Boston College s Carroll School of Management and guest lectured at Harvard Law School s Program on Negotiation.

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