Project Management

PMI Podcast Club: Resilience and Deep Learning

Featuring Stephen Townsend , Madelyn Blair, Nancy Dixon, , , and

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52m 04s


This session is intended for engagement and knowledge exchange. 
It is not a PDU-eligible activity.

Our next Center Stage podcast club brings together two of our most popular and provocative Center Stage leaders – Dr. Nancy Dixon and Dr. Madelyn Blair on building resilience and establishing deep learning when we are engaged in dialogue and trust. They will join PMI member and volunteer Tammy Ashraf, our Podcast Club moderator, for a provocative discussion.

A few words about our discussion leaders.

Dr. Nancy Dixon is a world-renowned leader who helps organizations in collective sensemaking, managing knowledge, and designing virtual learning systems. Dr. Madelyn Blair is a leader, author, and researcher who has studied the factors that lead to resilient leadership. Both of our leaders are widely regarded for making organizations more intelligent, thoughtful, resilient, and reflective. This is an unusually great opportunity to learn from their deep wisdom. Nancy Dixon ( highlighted the importance of connection before content in her podcast on Reimagining the Workplace for Engagement. Nancy emphasizes the only true competitive edge for organizations is by creating a culture of active dialogue and conversation. Her current research, and executive consulting, focuses on virtual work and conversation practices that help employees and organizations to shape the actions, values, goals, and direction for sustained success. This focus takes us toward a belief in the “wisdom of the collective.” Such a term highlights the shift in work, one where organizations are flatter, teams are self-governing, and there is an emphasis on inclusive and diverse strategies for agility, conversation, and knowledge exchange.

Madelyn Blair ( has devoted her career to questioning the status quo, and finding ways for people and teams to excel. In her podcast on Resilient Leadership, Madelyn shared a story about her doctoral advisor, John Rijsman. “…when I began working with him, he would listen intently to what I had to say and then ask me question after question.  I kept wondering, why is he doing this?  He is supposed to be teaching me, isn’t he?  No, it turns out, he said he wanted me to find my voice.” Madelyn helps us find our voice and keep it. Her earlier research explored personal knowledge management. Recognizing that in-depth knowledge is part of building resilience, her focus has moved to resilience and how individuals and teams can build their resilience.

This session is particularly exciting, because while both Dr. Dixon and Dr. Blair have achieved individual success, they have also been long-time collaborators and colleagues, most recently at Columbia University.

This is your forum for asking questions, reacting to our guests’ podcasts and sharing your own experiences.  Through engagement:

  • Explore the implication for dialogue, resilience, and learning in a world of uncertainty and change.
  • Recognize the central role of people and conversation for creating the solutions for teams, organizations, and society,
  • Consider how these concepts apply to how you will make reality through projects in the future.

You can listen to each of the podcasts at:  We encourage you to subscribe to the podcasts via your favorite streaming service (e.g., iTunes podcasts, Spotify, etc.).

Please complete this survey to share your input on the topics of resilience, deep learning, and knowledge transfer in organizations. Your input will be used anonymously to contribute to the Insights Report that will be generated after this session. Link is

The PMI Knowledge Initiative has developed an Insights report that shares the learnings and highlights of this Podcast Club webinar. You can access the report at

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Acknowledgements: Kimberly Whitby and Derrick May

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"Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so."

- Bertrand Russell