Michael Smets is Associate Professor in Management and Organisation Studies at Saïd Business School. He is also a Research Fellow at Green Templeton College where he received both his MSc and DPhil degrees. Michael's research focuses on leadership, the management of competing stakeholder demands in complex organisational environments, and the internationalisation and innovation of professional services. Michael's research has appeared in leading management journals, academic handbooks and practitioner publications and has been covered by the Financial Times, Forbes, and a number of industry publications. He has won the 2012 Best Paper Award of the Academy of Management Journal, one of the most highly ranked journals in the field, and his study of Lloyd's of London has received the ESRC's inaugural award for "Outstanding Impact in Business" in 2013. This presentation draws on his latest study which was initially presented at the World Economic forum in Davos in January 2015.
Abstract: In an increasingly connected and complex world, we confront increasingly paradoxical choices at work. What was once a clear choice between "right" and "wrong" has morphed into a balancing act between "right" and "right". Pressures to honour multiple - often conflicting - demands and commitments has become the rule, rather than exception - whether you are in business, medicine, or social enterprise. Based on an in-depth study of 150 CEOs from around the world, this seminar explores ways to embrace the paradoxes of leadership as a source of strength, rather than paralysis and to harness the power of doubt for more decisive action.