Diana McLain Smith

Diana McLain Smith


Diana McLain Smith is a founding partner of Action Design and a partner at the Monitor Group, a global consulting firm. For the past 25 years she has studied and advised leaders and their teams on how to build relationships strong enough to master their toughest challenges. Her research-based intervention approach zeroes in on the human dynamics of strategic choice and change in organizations. Drawing on a background in family therapy, organizational change, and policy disputes, Diana has a proven track record helping executives use their differences to advance, rather than stall, intelligent progress on their most difficult issues. Throughout her career, Diana has written about teams and intervention. Her new book, Divide or Conquer: How Great Teams Turn Conflict into Strength draws on over 25 years of research to show how relationships make or break the success of leaders and their teams. Diana received her masters and doctoral degrees from Harvard University. While there, she worked closely with Chris Argyris and Don Schon, who chaired her thesis. Prior to graduate school, Diana was trained as a family therapist by one of the field’s most influential founders, David Kantor, with whom she still collaborates. She has also worked closely with Peter Senge on questions related to organizational learning and with the Harvard Negotiation Project on questions related to consensus-building in organizations. She is the co-author of the book Action Science, with Chris Argyris and Bob Putnam, and of numerous articles and white papers.

Showing 2 of 2 results

Shifting Perspective to Shift Results

So prevalent are relationship troubles that most of us merely accept them as the way things are. A Time magazine article in 2002 went…

Putting the “Relational” Back in Human Relationships

No systems thinker worthy of the name would argue that a single cause, close in time and space, produces a single result in any…