Watch Adam Kahane Love and Power presention at the MaRS Global Leadership. Adam Kahane’s talk was presented in partnership with the SiG Inspiring Action for Social Impact Series
2010’s Waterloo Lecture on Social Innovation featured Reos Partner’s Adam Kahane and served as launch for his book Power and Love: a theory and practice of social change. 18 months and several speeches later, Adam has coalesced his thoughts into the 10 laws of love and power. While by no means assuming that following the laws is easy, I find his 10 laws heartening. They suggest a change theory that is possible; the first step being a commitment to a collaborative process regardless of background or interest.
Of Adam’s first book, Solving Tough Problems: An Open Way of Talking, Listening, and Creating New Realities, Nelson Mandela said: “This breakthrough book addresses the central challenge of our time: finding a way to work together to solve the problems we have created.”
This is the power of Adam’s change theory, and he has been working and iterating the process over the last 20 years. Utilizing his scenario thinking skills honed at Royal Dutch Shell in London in the early 1990’s, Adam was sent to South Africa to facilitate what would become known as the Mont Fleur Scenario Project. During this project a diverse group of South Africans worked together to affect the transition to democracy. Since then he has led many seminal cross-sectoral dialogue-and-action processes, throughout the world.
Charting his work across 2 decades, Adam was able to see that in all scenarios there are varying degrees of love and power, and love and power each have a generative and degenerative side. The challenge is knowing one’s own tendencies, and finding the right balance to help you be more effective in a particular situation.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a public servant or work in a non-profit, you bring to new relationships a composite of love and power. Understanding how to balance your own measure of each quality can have a powerful impact on success.