Making progress on complex, problematic situations requires a new approach to working together: transformative facilitation, a structured and creative process for removing the obstacles to fluid forward movement.
It is becoming less straightforward for people to move forward together. They face increasing complexity and decreasing control. They need to work with more people from across more divides. In such situations, the most common ways of advancing—some people telling others what to do, or everyone just doing what they think they need to—aren’t adequate.
One better way is through facilitating. But the most common approaches to facilitating—bossy vertical directing from above or collegial horizontal accompanying from alongside—aren’t adequate. They often leave the participants frustrated and yearning for breakthrough.
This book describes a new approach: transformative facilitation. It doesn’t choose either the bossy vertical or the collegial horizontal approach: it cycles back and forth between them. Rather than forcing or cajoling, the facilitator removes the obstacles that stand in the way of people contributing and connecting equitably. It enables people to bring their whole selves to the process.
This book is for anyone who helps people work together to transform their situation, be it a professional facilitator, manager, consultant, coach, chairperson, organizer, mediator, stakeholder, or friend. It offers a broad and bold vision of the contribution that facilitation can make to helping people collaborate to make progress.
About the author
Adam Kahane is director of Reos Partners, an organization that helps people move forward together on their most important and intractable issues. He has facilitated teams of executives, politicians, philanthropists, generals, guerillas, civil servants, trade unionists, community activists, clergy, and artists. His work has been praised by Nobel Peace Prize–winners Nelson Mandela and Juan Manuel Santos.
“Solving Tough Problems is a breakthrough book that addresses the central challenge of our time: finding a way to work together to solve the problems we have created.”
—Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa and Nobel Peace Prize recipient
“Power and Love is a profound book that offers us a wise way to negotiate our toughest group, community, and societal challenges.”
—William Ury, Senior Fellow, Harvard Negotiation Project, and coauthor of Getting to Yes
“In Transformative Scenario Planning, Kahane explains how scenario planning can transform the future. In Colombia we can attest that such transformation is really possible.”
—Juan Manuel Santos, former president of Colombia and Nobel Peace Prize recipient
“Across the planet we face urgent and complex problems that demand creative breakthroughs. Collaborating with the Enemy lays out a powerful approach.”
—Debra Dunn, Faculty Member, Stanford University’s d.school, and former Senior Vice President, Hewlett-Packard