Continued from Part.1

The old paradigm assumes that you can force people to do what you want through the use of power, either physical compulsion or political power. In power theory terms, this is a “power over” scenario where the goal is to keep others out or away. In other words, keep the “bad guys out” so that they can’t hurt you or your decisions.

In the new paradigm, solutions come from cooperative actions, not force. So it's much more of a “power with,” or a “power to” approach, where people work together to solve problems instead of trying to force their solution on others who don’t want it.

The old paradigm seeks either/or solutions. It's either going to be my way or your way. But it's not going to be both ways. The new paradigm seeks what Chip Hauss and Bill Ury and others call “both/and” solutions. You put the various options together and try to come up with an idea that works for the whole.

Lastly, a difference between the old paradigm in the new paradigm is the old paradigm assumes people seek their own self interests. This is a picture of Adam Smith, whose seminal book, The Wealth of Nations, assumed or argued that when people individually sought their own self interests, the market system as a whole would balance those interests out and work for the good of everybody. We've come to realize that it is doesn't work out that way nearly as much as we would like. So again, we’re seeking a new paradigm, which seeks the good of the whole, not just of an individual.

Now these last two slides might have reminded you of a book that I think I've talked about already, Bill Ury, Roger Fisher and Bruce Patton’s Getting to Yes. Indeed, Getting to Yes is a starting point for Hauss’s  new paradigm, but is not enough, because the goal of Getting to Yes is simply to get to an agreement in what, typically, is not a wicked problem, but a relatively simple problem. With wicked problems, you need to get beyond agreement. You need to get to long-term problem-solving. And the problem-solving needs to go on as the system changes and needs to be flexible to adapt to those changes and new situations.

What does Hauss mean by long-term problem-solving? Well, it includes at least three things, empathy, reciprocity and trust. And each of those builds upon each other. So the more of one you have, the more the other that you can have. He adds that empathy is brought about by listening. So instead of pushing “the other” out, you try to bring “the other” in by listening to them, developing empathy for them, understanding for their interests and needs. That enables you to work together with them reciprocally to try to develop approaches that are best for everybody. And that helps develops trust. How do you do this? Well, one of the ways that you could do it is, look for what Hauss calls “positive deviance,” “bright spots” where people of either accidentally or on purpose have done something helpful to address the conflict or the wicked problem.  Then you try to magnify those actions that have been helpful, replicate those actions, and help them grow into what he calls “virtuous cycles.”

One of the things that is important to realize is that paradigms change very slowly. So you can't expect anybody to switch quickly from the old paradigm to the new paradigm.  Rather, for quite a long time the paradigms will exist together. The old paradigm is still perfectly useful and perhaps even beneficial when you're talking about problem-solving in top-down organizations. Hierarchically-organized organizations, and when the task is well-defined, and when there's a solution that is possible allow use of the old paradigm.  This is what Wendell Jones and Guy and I refer to as “complicated systems,” which I think I referred to in one of my earlier videos and Guy will be talking about in depth next week.  On the other hand, when you have complex and wicked problems and accelerating rates of change, you need the new paradigm and you need what Chip refers to (lots of us do too) as “outside the box thinking.”

The values of the new paradigm are that:

  1. Our problems are shared. It's not my problem or your problem. We all have the same problems.
  2. We need to seek the good of the whole, not just our own self interests.
  3. Relationships are key to doing this.
  4. A long-term orientation is essential.
  5. Power with approaches are preferred over power-over approaches.

The difference between Hauss’s new paradigm and Getting to Yes is Getting to Yes is pretty short-term. You follow the rules of the book, you get to an agreement, and that's the end of the story. But the end of the story is much slower in coming with wicked problems. In fact, there may not ever be an end. But there are ways of transforming wicked problems into ones that are more manageable and more beneficial overall.The last value of the new paradigm is “power-with approaches” and solutions are superior to “power-over” approaches.

Actions that are typical of people who are working with the new paradigm are

  1. game changing innovations,
  2. teamwork,
  3. trust building, which he says leads to
  4. empowerment
  5. broad coalitions and
  6. building what he refers to as “virtuous circles,”

“Virtuous circles” is the term I used just a minute ago, where things are going right and you build on that. Instead of having things escalate so that tensions are getting higher and higher and problems are getting worse and worse, you build “virtuous circles,” where you solve a little bit, and that helps you solve more, and you build trust, and that helps you build relationships, that helps you build them empathy, and so on.

In order to solve wicked problems, you have to have multiple overlapping mutually reinforcing virtuous circles. Of course, this is not an easy thing to do, but once you understand the concept, and to start recognizing these virtuous circles where they occur and then, indeed, tryi to create them and magnify them and replicate them wherever you can, it can be done.

So the bottom line is, when you treat our current wicked problems, such as the conflict between the right and left in the United States, and all the things they're arguing over, be that inequality, or immigration, or healthcare, or race, or climate change, or energy, or any problem you can think of, any public-policy problem--now seem to be wicked problems! So when you use old assumptions and the old paradigm to address these problems, the result is increasingly gridlock. Nothing can get done!   When we define things as simple cause-and-effect, good-guys vs. bad-guys, working for one's own self-interests and not the interests of the whole, being exclusive in who you work with, as opposed to inclusive, if we want to be able to get past this gridlock, we can’t do that anymore.  We need to start using Hauss’s new paradigm.

Hauss also comes up with the notion of “learning organizations,” which reminds me of what we just talked about with Ricigliano’s PAL cycle of “Planning, Action Learning.” You need to have multiple successes and multiple failures and get feedback from them in order to be able to learn how the system is changing in response to your efforts, and how to change your efforts in response to the system in very complex situations.

There's lots of other very interesting ideas and many applications and examples in Security 2.0 that show how the new paradigm is beginning to be put into effect in different domains. Chip looks at the military. He looks at identity and racial conflicts. He looks at business. He looks at climate. And he looks at governance. Different chapters that show how we are beginning to make the change from the old paradigm to the new paradigm and from security 1.0 to security 2.0.  But he stresses that there is no certainty that this transition is going to be successful.  Nor is there a roadmap for how to do it.  But if we are to get beyond the gridlock that were experiencing now, he argues, and Guy and I certainly believe this too, that a new way of thinking is absolutely essential!

So we encourage you to check out Chip's book and look at the many similarities between that and the ideas that we will be developing, Because we've talked with Chip a lot, and we've all been thinking along the same lines for quite a while.We will develop these ideas even further in the next unit on complexity-oriented peacebuilding. Thanks!

Guy Burgess is a Founder and Co-Director of the University of Colorado Conflict Information Consortium. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and has been working in the conflict resolution field, as a scholar and a practitioner, since 1979. His primary interests involve the study and management of intractable conflicts, public policy dispute resolution, and the dissemination of conflict resolution knowledge over the Internet. He is one of the primary authors and creators of the Online Training Program on Intractable Conflicts, and is the Co-Director of CRInfo -- the Conflict Resolution Information Source. Dr. Burgess has edited and authored a number of books and articles, the most recent being The Encyclopedia of Conflict Resolution (with Heidi Burgess, ABC-Clio 1999).