Adam Kahane Power And Love Pdf


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This is a concept that business leaders need to understand, because in times of crisis and afterward , the people of an enterprise are put under a great deal of stress. Many people in major corporations today are still wondering if they will lose their jobs.

Power and Love: A Theory and Practice of Social Change

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To learn more, view our Privacy Policy. Log In Sign Up. Download Free PDF. Praise for Adam Kahane's books. Ignoramus Financio.

Download PDF. A short summary of this paper. Adam has taken scenario planning to a new level, beyond the confines of business strategy, to deal with wider social and economic issues. Adam Kahane, with his track record of work for social and environmental justice, has written a powerful and practical guide for those hungry for new ideas about how to achieve change. At Shell we have learned the value of combining scenario thinking with strategic choices.

Building on his extensive practical experience, Kahane extends the boundaries of this practice. Kahane has immersed himself in the practical challenges of helping people effect social change, and against this backdrop he unfolds a simple and penetrating insight: that power and love are two axes that delineate our individual and collective journeys.

Either we master the balance of power and love or we will fail in our efforts to realize deep and lasting change. A must-read for every reflective leader. Power and Love is both instructive and inspiring. Exciting, vital, essential reading. Conflicts of interest and profound uncertainties about the future are producing paralysis and inaction. Adam Kahane has, more than anyone, developed and successfully employed tools that enable us to create futures of shared progress and profit.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. Special discounts are available on quantity purchases by corporations, associations, and others.

Individual sales. Berrett-Koehler publications are available through most bookstores. They can also be ordered directly from Berrett- Koehler: Tel: ; Fax: ; www. Please contact Berrett-Koehler: Tel: ; Fax: Orders by U. This empirical fact is not surprising. Scenario planning is in the first place a diagnostic tool for conditions in which uncertainty rules.

Even so, the scenario client is often left with a feeling of dissatisfaction, as it seems difficult to directly attribute action in the world to the scenario work done. It seems that important new insights gained often do not compete very successfully when the scenario planner returns to the daily work situation, where the old logics reestablish themselves around him or her.

In situations of anxiety around issues in the environment, people want to see something more directly emerging from their attempts to cope with the problematic situation. Adam Kahane thinks that scenario planning should be able to do better.

He has explored the limitations of current practice and how these can be overcome in a world experiencing an increasing number of big and growing problem situations to which as yet we lack a suitable response. His conclusions are powerful in their simplicity and plausibility.

He observes that while finding and sharing a rational diagnosis of the situation is a key element of any successful coping behavior, it is generally not enough for change to happen. Prigogine explained the experienced increase in turbulence as a consequence of denser connectivity in the environment as more increasingly mobile people live closer together and affect each other.

More connections means more closed loops and therefore more positive feedback loops driving self-reinforcing change. The recent credit crisis is just one example. This work has been published in the context of an ongoing series of conferences, called the Oxford Futures Forum. Our work indicates that survival in a turbulent environment requires a new response based on mobilizing the same systemic forces that generate the turbulent change in the first place.

In trying to cope, we must fight like with like. That means that successful coping involves building feedback loops in the environment that can counteract the destructive autonomous loops that cause the turbulence we experience. Adam Kahane refers to this as the seeds planted by the scenario work multiplying and spreading.

His observations over many years of reflective practice confirm what the theory suggests here. In summary: In a turbulent world, successful coping requires activity in three focus areas: 1 systemic diagnosis of the situation and its context, 2 network development to enable self-reinforcing coping behavior, and 3 personal identification with the project. Scenario planning has proved itself as a successful diagnostic tool. Adam Kahane shows how consciously dealing with the developing turbulent environment now additionally requires focus on the development of self-triggering networks and personal values.

This book puts these issues on the agenda and provides us with ideas generated in the world of practice, requiring our individual and organizational attention. The world has two options. Or we can try to anticipate and change direction by proactively improving our coping skills. If we choose the latter, Adam Kahane provides an important perspective.

Sometimes we choose to accept what is happening around us and try to adapt ourselves to it. Other times we choose to challenge what is happening and try to change it. More often than not, we choose to push. We have an idea of the way we think things ought to be, and we marshal our resources—arguments, authority, supporters, money, weapons—to try to make it so. But often when we push, others push back, and we end up frustrated, exhausted, and stuck.

Over and over we encounter such stuck situations, in all kinds of social systems: families, teams, communities, organizations, nations. This book is for people who have chosen to try to change the future and have realized that they cannot do so unilaterally. They may be trying to change the future of their city or their country or the world; they may be focusing on health or education or the economy or the environment; they may be acting from a position in business or government or civil society.

This book is for these people, who are looking for a way to work together—not only with friends and colleagues but also with strangers and opponents—and so to be able to get unstuck and move forward and create change. I first got a glimpse of such a new way of working with the future twenty years ago, during the transition away from apart-heid in South Africa.

I saw, in what they were doing and how they were doing it, a brief and clear image of this new way—like a nighttime landscape momentarily illuminated by a flash of lightning. I have spent the past twenty years working on understanding what I saw. This book reports what I have learned.

Over these past two decades, my colleagues and I have worked with hundreds of teams of people who are working together to change the future.

These teams have tackled some of the most important and difficult challenges of our time: health care, economic development, child nutrition, judicial reform, social inclusion, food security, and climate change, across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Australia. They have included politicians, peasants, activists, artists, academics, businesspeople, trade unionists, civil servants, and leaders of community, youth, indigenous, and religious organizations.

Some of these teams have been local and others global; some have worked together for days and others for years; some have succeeded in changing their situation and others have failed.

And I have learned the what and why and how of this approach. My colleagues and I call this new way of working transformative scenario planning. Its purpose is to enable those of us who are trying to change the future collaboratively to transform, rather than adapt to, the situation we are part of.

It involves a transformation of the situation— like a caterpillar into a butterfly—rather than only an incremental or temporary change. Transformative scenario planning centers on constructing scenarios of possible futures for our situation, but it takes the well-established adaptive scenario planning methodology and turns it on its head—so that we construct scenarios not only to understand the future but also to influence it.

Transformative scenario planning offers us a new way to work together to change the future. This new way is simple, but it is not easy or straightforward or guaranteed. It requires learning how to make a specific series of steps, but also, perhaps more important, making a profound and subtle shift in how we approach one another and the situations of which we are part. Above all, it requires practicing: learning by doing.

This book outlines this new way and invites you into the doing. I was excited to be there and curious about what was going to happen. Back in , a white minority government had imposed the apartheid system of racial segregation and oppression on the black majority, and the s and s had seen waves of bloody confrontation between the government and its opponents.

Every month saw breakthroughs and breakdowns: declarations and demands from politicians, community activists, church leaders, and businesspeople; mass demonstrations by popular movements and attempts by the police and military to reassert control; and all manner of negotiating meetings, large and small, formal and informal, open and secret.

South Africans were excited, worried, and confused. Nobody knew whether or how this transformation could happen peacefully. Professors Pieter le Roux and Vincent Maphai, from the ANC- aligned University of the Western Cape, thought that it could be useful to bring together a diverse group of emerging national leaders to discuss alternative models for the transformation. They had the idea that the scenario planning methodology that had been pioneered by the multinational oil company Royal Dutch Shell, which involved systematically constructing a set of multiple stories of possible futures, could be an effective way to do this.

Le Roux asked me to lead the meetings of his group, and I agreed enthusiastically. This is how I came to arrive at Mont Fleur on that lovely Friday afternoon. My job at Shell was as the head of the team that produced scenarios about possible futures for the global political, economic, social, and environmental context of the company. Shell executives used our scenarios, together with ones about what could happen in energy markets, to understand what was going on in their unpredictable business environment and so to develop more robust corporate strategies and plans.

The company had used this adaptive scenario planning methodology since , when a brilliant French planning manager named Pierre Wack constructed a set of stories that included the possibility of an unprecedented interruption in global oil supplies. My job was to try to understand what was going on in the world, and to do this I was to go anywhere and talk to anyone I needed to. I learned the Shell scenario methodology from two masters: Ged Davis, an English mining engineer, and Kees van der Heijden, a Dutch economist who had codified the approach that Wack invented.

In , van der Heijden was succeeded by Joseph Jaworski, a Texan lawyer who had founded the American Leadership Forum, a community leadership development program that was operating in six US cities. Jaworski thought that Shell should use its scenarios not only to study and adapt to the future but also to exercise its leadership to help shape the future. This challenged the fundamental premise that our scenarios needed to be neutral and objective, and it led to lots of arguments in our department.

I was torn between these two positions.

Power & Love Adam Kahane

In Western society especially, they are often regarded as opposites. In all cases, they are hard to unite. Both qualities have their productive and destructive sides. It will strengthen the status quo of disbalance because of naively not taking into account the reality of power. Which leads to vulnerable results. POWER The drive to self- realisation Focus on growth, getting things done, outwards Power to create can lead to power over which is then harmful. Makes love productive instead of harmful Power without love becomes manipulative and reckless ; it doesn t acknowledge our mutual dependencies What s needed to balance between them, use both at once or at least in short intervals learning how to walk, from falling and tripping to the dynamic balance of doing both : Acknowledgement of power as part of what is is necessary; and making sure these powers are directly involved to be able to work with them.

The two methods most frequently employed to solve our toughest social problems—either relying on violence and aggression or submitting to endless negotiation and compromise—are fundamentally flawed. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. For the last twenty years Adam Kahane of Reos Partners and the University of Oxford has worked around the world on many tough and vital challenges: food security, health care, economic development, judicial reform, peacemaking, climate change. In this extraordinary book he draws on this experience to delve deeply into the dual natures of both power and love, exploring their subtle and intricate interplay. With disarming honesty Kahane relates how, through trial and error, he has learned to balance them and offers practical guidance for how others can learn that balance as well.

By Adam Kahane. In Power and Love , Adam goes further and deeper, into the kind of leadership that it takes to do this. In this deceptively brief and clearly written book, Adam Kahane takes us through his own learning process to a way of acting in and on the world that is both effective and caring. Intelligent, insightful, satisfying—and inspiring. Power and Love is both instructive and inspiring. This book is a must-read for business leaders who are coming to recognize that to continue to thrive, business must join forces with interest groups, communities, and government to address the wicked sustainability challenges of our time. Kahane shows us how.


Power and Love. A T P S C. Adam Kahane. Drawings by Jeff Barnum. Kahane_rethinkingafricancollections.org iii. 10/19/09 PM.


How to balance power and love

I grew up in Montreal and studied physics at McGill University. In the summer of , as I was finishing my undergraduate degree, I attended a meeting of the Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs in Banff, Alberta, where I heard a speech about the crucial energy and environmental challenges arising out of the increasing complexity and fullness—of people and ideas and things—of the world. I decided to shift my studies from physical to social sciences, and I went on to do a graduate degree in economics and public policy at the University of California at Berkeley. My father had taught me the value of industriousness—of doing my job well, whatever that job was—and of self-determination and self-improvement. His favorite story was of Henry David Thoreau, who had lived in the woods at Walden Pond and after two years had come out with his axe sharper than when he had gone in.

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