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Action Design partner Diana McLain Smith has written a new book:  Divide or Conquer:  How Great Teams Turn Conflict Into Strength (Portfolio, 2008).  This path-breaking book shows how the quality of working relationships can make or break leadership teams.  Read more…

Action Design colleague Bill Noonan has recently published the book,  Discussing the Undiscussable: A Guide to Overcoming Defensive Routines in the Workplace (Jossey-Bass, 2007).  It provides an excellent introduction to the fundamental concepts and skills and includes a DVD with practice exercises.  See the book web site.

Essays and Articles on this Site:

See also our list of research oriented readings.


  • “Reflective Conversation: Art and Possibility,” a talk by Robert Putnam in 1996, has been reissued on DVD as a Classic Presentation from the Pegasus Conference. Description: “Major learning opportunities often come in the guise of intergroup conflicts and clashing priorities. In order to create intentional learning from these situations, we must be able to talk productively about difficult issues. The ways people usually deal with conflict, however, actually prevent—rather than encourage—learning. In this presentation, Bob Putnam discusses how “undiscussable” topics hinder team and organizational learning and offers possibilities for creating reflecive conversation.” The DVD can be ordered from Pegasus Communications, order number V9623D.