And it really is tough to make progress when you believe yourself to be faced with an existential threat.
It causes, as we talked about ten minutes ago, fear, defensiveness, and wall building.
But it’s sobering to see how that looks up close and personal.
VB: Who are some of the thinkers or authors who have had a significant influence on you and your approach to tough problem solving?
So it’s definitely—well it’s not definitely—in some ways it’s the toughest of problems anyone has to deal with.
You are fortunate to live in Canada’s leading province on this matter. I’m also working these days in Israel, for the first time, in a substantial way.Last week we learned that the authoritarian approach to solving tough problems, where the expert, the boss or the politician attempts to solve it does not work.Rather, it hurts and as Adam Kahane, author of Solving Tough Problems, learned from his dental nurse, when something you are doing hurts then stop doing it. Vern Burkhardt (VB): What were the most challenging problems you have worked on? At the moment I’m active in my home country of Canada on climate change.I’ve learned in the trenches from people like Peter Senge, Otto Scharmer, and Joseph Jaworski.VB: Obviously you have a close professional relationship with Peter Sengemdash;"he wrote the forward to Solving Tough Problems. Peter Senge doesn’t work as a consultant; he’s an academic and an author.We’ve been working since August 2007 with a group that goes by the name of 3E, the Economy, Energy and Environment Initiative.It is trying to bring together business people from the industrial, finance and energy sectors, environmental activists, academics, researchers and politicians to shift Canada from being a laggard, which it is at the moment, terribly embarrassing, to a leader in this field. Simply because it can only be addressed through international collective action, and there aren’t a lot of good precedents for that.The truth is I’m somebody who learns mostly not by reading but by bumping my head.I’ve been influenced very little by books, mostly by colleagues.knew that he had to use the language of power in order to effect change. I think the good news is the situation has the hope of coming right.Because aboriginal people in Canada are winning the power battle.