This is the fifth “writing out loud” excerpt from the working draft of Adam Kahane’s new book, “Collaborating with the Enemy: An Open Way to Work with People You Don’t Agree With or Like or Trust,” to be published by Berrett-Koehler in 2017. Adam is keen to engage with interested readers around this material as he develops it. If you would like to read the full working drafts and participate in a conversation about them, please sign up here. If you have already subscribed, check your inbox with the email containing the direct link to the full version.
If you would like to read the full working drafts and participate in a conversation about them, please sign up here. If you have already subscribed, check your inbox with the email containing the direct link to the full version.
Halfway through our project on immigration, the going again got difficult. The larger political context within which we were operating was becoming more polarized. The diverse group we were supporting had deep disagreements about the content of the report they were writing about what was happening and could happen. They were frightened that when the document came out they would be seen by their constituents to have compromised and would be embarrassed. They were uncomfortable with our conflictual, collective, collaborative process and did not trust that it would produce a worthwhile outcome. Most of them were worried, some were outraged, and a few quit, with others threatening to follow.
[…] The experience I had in this project is typical of tough collaborations to deal with complex challenges. We are co-creating a way forward. We cannot know our route before we set out; we cannot predict or control it; we can only discover it along the way. This can be exciting and also frightening.