Book of the Month

Book of the Month – October 2021

Facilitating Breakthrough: How to Remove Obstacles, Bridge Differences, and Move Forward Together

by Adam Kahane

Making progress on complex, problematic situations requires a new approach to working together: transformative facilitation, a structured and creative process for removing the obstacles to fluid forward movement.

It is becoming less straightforward for people to move forward together. They face increasing complexity and decreasing control. They need to work with more people from across more divides. In such situations, the most common ways of advancing—some people telling others what to do, or everyone just doing what they think they need to—aren’t adequate.

One better way is through facilitating. But the most common approaches to facilitating—bossy vertical directing from above or collegial horizontal accompanying from alongside—aren’t adequate. They often leave the participants frustrated and yearning for breakthrough.

This book describes a new approach: transformative facilitation. It doesn’t choose either the bossy vertical or the collegial horizontal approach: it cycles back and forth between them. Rather than forcing or cajoling, the facilitator removes the obstacles that stand in the way of people contributing and connecting equitably. It enables people to bring their whole selves to the process.

This book is for anyone who helps people work together to transform their situation, be it a professional coach, facilitator, consultant, leader, chairperson, mediator, stakeholder, or friend. It offers a broad and bold vision of the contribution that facilitation can make to helping people collaborate to make progress.

Continue the conversation…