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Collaborating with the Enemy by Adam Kahane

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3Conventional, ConstrictedCollaboration Is Becoming Obsolete

The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones, which ramify, for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds.

—John Maynard Keynes1

Our most common default mode for collaborating is controlled. But in most complex and contentious contexts, this mode does not and cannot work.

CONSTRICTION PREVENTS MOVEMENT

John and Mary are talking about what to do about their son Bob’s financial problems. They want to help, and they also know from experience that they can’t force him to do anything. They don’t want to fight either with each other or with Bob. So they need to find a way to work this out together.

John takes a directive approach. ...

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