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032. Adam Kahane: Bridge Differences and Facilitate Breakthrough

“How do we empower and equip our teams to collaborate more effectively across boundaries? How do we avoid the unhealthy and unspoken “Us vs. Them” mentality?

Tobias Sturesson invites Adam Kahane to join him for this episode on The Leading Transformational Change Podcast. During their in-depth conversation, Adam candidly shares about his time working with Former Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, recipient of the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in bringing the 50-year-long Colombian civil war to an end. Be inspired by Adam’s insights into a revolutionary way of collaborating that goes against usual organizational norms.

Their fascinating discussion explores:

04:23 Why collaboration is not the only option and how to know when you should collaborate
09:28 The important revelation that in all situations, an organization is both “one” and “many”
17:10 How it is possible to collaborate with people with whom you do not agree and will never agree
23:27 The ways leaders can help remove systemic issues and obstacles to aid cooperation
34:00 Why Transformative Facilitation is unique and crucial to enabling healthy unity in diversity

Adam Kahane is a Director of Reos Partners, an international social enterprise that helps people move forward together on their most important and intractable issues. He has worked in more than fifty countries and in every part of the world, with executives, politicians, generals, guerrillas, civil servants, trade unionists, community activists, United Nations officials, clergy, and artists. Adam is the author of “Solving Tough Problems: An Open Way of Talking, Listening, and Creating New Realities”; “Power and Love: A Theory and Practice of Social Change”; “Transformative Scenario Planning: Working Together to Change the Future”; and “Collaborating with the Enemy: How to Work with People You Don’t Agree with or Like or Trust”.

About Adam’s new book Facilitating Breakthrough: How to Remove Obstacles, Bridge Differences, and Move Forward Together:
It is becoming less straightforward to move forward together. In many contexts, people face increasing complexity and decreasing control. They need to work with more people from across more divides. This is true both within organizations and in larger social systems. In such situations, the most straightforward ways of advancing—some people telling others what to do or everyone just doing what they think they need to—aren’t adequate. What is a better way? One better way is through facilitating: supporting a group to collaborate across their differences to move forward together.
In his forthcoming book, “Facilitating Breakthrough: How to Remove Obstacles, Bridge Differences, and Move Forward Together” Adam Kahane describes an uncommon approach to facilitating breakthrough: transformative facilitation. This approach focuses on removing the obstacles that stand in the way of people contributing and connecting equitably. More fundamentally, it focuses on removing the obstacles to love, power, and justice. It is a liberating way to advance. Adam’s book will be released in August 2021 and available to pre-order now. ”

Learn more about Adam Kahane and Reos partners


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