Making progress on complex and polarizing issues requires a new approach to working together. In his new book, Adam Kahane introduces transformative facilitation, a structured and creative process for removing obstacles so we can move forward together.
About the Book
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.
An Introduction to Facilitating Breakthrough
Praise for Adam Kahane’s Books
“ Facilitating Breakthrough is thoughtful, reflective, and inspiring. To achieve breakthrough results on high-stakes challenges, facilitators need to raise their game. This book explains how.”
—MARTIN GILBRAITH, former Chair, International Association of Facilitators
“ 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 co-author 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
Read exclusive excerpts from Facilitating Breakthrough
• Excerpt: Enabling Breakthrough in a Polarized World
• Excerpt: The Power of Transformative Facilitation
Meet the Author
Adam Kahane is a Director of Reos Partners and a leading organizer, designer, and facilitator of processes through which business, government, and civil society leaders can 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.