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Solving Tough Problems: An Open Way of Talking, Listening, and Creating New Realities [NOOK Book]

Overview

Adam Kahane has worked on some of the toughest, most complex problems in the world. He started out as an expert analyst and advisor to corporations and governments, convinced of the need to calculate “the one right answer.” After an unexpected experience in South Africa during the transition away from apartheid, he got involved in facilitating a series of extraordinary high-conflict, high-stakes problem-solving efforts: in Colombia during the civil war, in Argentina during the collapse, in Guatemala after the ...
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Solving Tough Problems: An Open Way of Talking, Listening, and Creating New Realities

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Overview

Adam Kahane has worked on some of the toughest, most complex problems in the world. He started out as an expert analyst and advisor to corporations and governments, convinced of the need to calculate “the one right answer.” After an unexpected experience in South Africa during the transition away from apartheid, he got involved in facilitating a series of extraordinary high-conflict, high-stakes problem-solving efforts: in Colombia during the civil war, in Argentina during the collapse, in Guatemala after the genocide, in Israel, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, and the Basque Country. Through these experiences, he learned to create environments that enable new ideas and creative solutions to emerge even in the most stuck, polarized contexts. Here Kahane tells his stories and distills from them an approach all of us can use to solve our own toughest problems—at home, at work, in our communities, and in national and international affairs.
“This breakthrough book addresses the central challenge of our time: finding a way to work together to solve the problems we have created.”
—Nelson Mandela
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What People Are Saying

Nelson Mandela
"This breakthrough book addresses the central challenge of our time: finding a way to work together to solve the problems we have created."
William Ury
"Solving Tough Problems offers a new approach to addressing peacefully our most complex and conflictual challenges-at home, at work, and in the larger world. Kahane reflects candidly and insightfully on his rich experience working with corporations, governments, and civil society organizations around the world. A fresh and valuable contribution from a pioneering practitioner."--(William Ury, Associate Director, Program on Negotiation, Harvard University, and co-author Getting to Yes and The Third Side)
Debra Dunn
"This book is rich with insights and inspiring examples that are very relevant to the global challenges we face today. In a dynamic and complex world in which escalating violence is fueled by clashing ideologies, we would all be well advised to give up dictating and knowing and take up listening and learning."--(Debra Dunn, Senior Vice President, Hewlett-Packard Company)
Elena Martinez
"This book should be read by everyone who is concerned with the quality of decision-making in our democracies."--(Elena Martinez, Assistant Secretary General, United Nations)
Arie de Geus
"Adam Kahane's book makes a strong case, woven together from fascinating inside stories about the really tough problems in the world, that success or failure depends on their leaders learning or not learning to listen. The book is recommended reading for all decision takers who find themselves dealing with tough problems."--(Arie de Geus, former Group Planning Coordinator, Royal Dutch/Shell, and author of The Living Company)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781605098975
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/1/2007
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 149
  • Sales rank: 772,329
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Adam Kahane is a leading designer and facilitator of processes through which business, government, and civil society leaders can together solve their toughest problems. He has worked in more than fifty countries, in every part of the world. He is a founding partner of Reos Partners and of Generon Consulting.
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Table of Contents


Foreword   Peter Senge     ix
Introduction: The Problem with Tough Problems     1
Tough Problems     5
"There Is Only One Right Answer"     7
Seeing the World     13
The Miraculous Option     19
Talking     35
Being Stuck     39
Dictating     45
Talking Politely     53
Speaking Up     59
Only Talking     67
Listening     71
Openness     73
Reflectiveness     79
Empathy     87
Creating New Realities     93
Cracking Through the Egg Shell     95
Closed Fist, Open Palm     107
The Wound That Wants to Be Whole     113
Conclusion: An Open Way     129
Notes     133
Bibliography     137
Index     140
About the Author     148
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2005

    Highly Recommended !

    This is a very unusual business strategy book on an esoteric topic: solving complex problems with scenario planning and analysis. Author Adam Kahane also discusses how change occurs in complicated social systems. Kahane, a conflict resolution consultant, shares a pivotal skill he learned at his former jobs with Royal Dutch/Shell and Pacific Gas & Electric. He learned how to address tangled problems with scenario analysis. He tried and, as his case histories testify, did not often succeed - to solve daunting problems in intractably troubled places, such as Paraguay, Colombia, South Africa and the Middle East. He admits his approach does not always work, though he has rare successes and frequent insights. Some of his strategy¿s separate steps, such as scenario planning and story telling, seem to function well on their own, but he has a tendency to de-link theory and practice. We recommend this unusual, instructive book to conflict managers, strategic planning executives and citizens who want to learn why profound national change must start at the individual level.

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