If you have read my book ‘Making a Difference’ you will know about my nine step approach to complex business problem solving. You will also know that I cover ‘soft' issues such as managing people, personal development, and decision making. In a meeting last week with a senior manager of the University of Antwerp Management School I was introduced to an absolutely fascinating book by Adam Kahane called ‘Solving Tough Problems’. If I am not being too egotistical, this book could be considered the missing chapter of my book.
Adam Kahane has worked on some of the toughest problems in the world; from mediating South Africa’s transition away from apartheid, to Colombia during the civil war, the collapse of Argentina, The Basque Country, Northern Ireland and much more. The techniques that Adam suggests are very radical to many, require serious reflection and careful thought as to how they can be brought effectively into the work place.
Being a Quaker, I am familiar with some of Adam’s techniques and I even use them in my daily business life. In my book, in the section on decision making, you will find parallels to Adam’s work but Adam’s experience takes us to a whole new level of conflict. He has written the book that I would like to have written – I recommend it to everyone, it is not long, it is easy to read and is cheaper than mine ;-)!
Solving Tough Problems is written by Adam Kahane and is published by Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.