On 5 October 2017, international consultant Adam Kahane talked to the Pearson College UWC community about his experience as a collaboration expert. Kahane has built a career of teaching people how to work with other people who they dislike or distrust or who have a completely different worldview. As a Director of Reos Partners (www.reospartners.com), Adam has worked on some of the toughest, most complex problems in the world. Nowadays more than ever, collaboration is increasingly difficult and necessary to resolve high-conflict and high-stakes problems or to simply get the job done. Having developed a concept Adam calls stretch collaboration (embracing discord and experimentation), he enables executives and politicians, generals and guerrillas, civil servants and trade unionists, community activists and United Nations officials, clergy and artists in more than fifty countries, in every part of the world to address their challenges. Through his lifelong work on crisis management and collaboration, he learned to create environments that enable new ideas and creative solutions to emerge even in the most stuck, polarized contexts.
“Collaboration is not imperative, there is always a choice. However, collaboration is not impossible. Conventional collaboration assumes there is control, focusing and agreeing on the same problem and solution for the greater good.
If a situation is out of control, conventional collaboration is not possible. By using a stretch collaboration approach the parties involved can embracing discord and experiment to achieve diverse solutions,” Adam states.