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Invitation to the club

Adam Kahane
October, 2023


I have started to work on a new book, and am inviting anyone who is interested to join me on a two-year learning journey that I expect will be both engaging and challenging.

The working title of the book (to be published by Berrett-Koehler in 2026) is Everyday Habits of Systems Transformers. It aims to illuminate and connect two types of work at two scales: 

- The small-scale, day-to-day work of actions taken by individuals and
- The large-scale, long-term work of transforming community, national, and global systems

Many people know that many of our social-political-economic-technological-environmental-
cultural systems are not working well and want to contribute to transforming them. The purpose of this book is to inspire and help these people contribute to such transformations.

My initial framing of the book immediately raises many bewildering basic questions: 

- What does it mean for a social system to be transformed? 
How do systems get transformed? 
Who contributes to systems transformation, through playing what roles? 
What actions enable them to make such contributions? 
How do we learn to take such actions on an everyday basis?

Although I have some experience with and thoughts about these matters, I am not confident that I yet have good answers to these questions, which is why I have embarked on this journey and am inviting others to join me. As I have done before, I will be “writing out loud”: publishing my thinking as I go along, discussing it with friends and colleagues, and rewriting, over and over. 

I know that writing a good book requires writing many bad drafts!

If these questions also interest you, here are two ways you can contribute: 

1. If you simply want to read and comment on public posts like this one, follow me here. Every few weeks I will post a note about my emerging thinking and wondering, and will look forward to reading your responses. I already started this process in June, when I asked on LinkedIn for “suggestions of excellent books that address, from different perspectives (political, philosophical, psychological, strategic, systemic, spiritual,...) on everyday practices (habits, heuristics, rules) a person can focus on to be able more effectively to contribute to transforming systems,” and here is a compilation of the cascade of references I received.

2. If you want to engage more deeply with this material, you can sign up here for my free “Book (Creating) Club,” which will be a private moderated community of practice (including both written exchanges and occasional Zoom calls) to discuss these blog posts, to provide feedback on draft chapters of the book, and to share our personal experiences of working with the habits that will form the core of the book. Active contributors will be acknowledged by name in the book. (Members of the Book Clubs for my previous two books will notice that this time around I am offering an opportunity for broader and deeper engagement.)  

A bonus: I have one of the world’s best collections of food-themed fridge magnets (the photo above shows only part of it) and will be sharing images of these in my posts. Join for the world-transforming ideas and stay for the international food art!

And thank you, Caelin Thyssen, for taking on the role of producer of this book-creating project!

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