Thawing today’s frozen political landscape

win-win orientation

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (August 26, 2013) – While temperatures across the nation continue to sizzle in these waning days of summer, the political landscape in Washington remains frozen in a morass of partisan bickering and polarized positioning. Is there an answer anywhere on the horizon? In his new book, Mike Leavitt, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and three-time governor of Utah, provides a practical approach based on proven, tested collaboration principles to solve critical problems in the public and private sectors. Finding Allies, Building Alliances chronicles Leavitt’s unique abilities to bring competing parties together to forge solutions that cannot be accomplished by individuals alone.

“I observed firsthand Mike Leavitt’s skill at bringing people together and building coalitions in government, politics, and international affairs,” wrote Robert B. Zoellick, former president of the World Bank and past U.S. Deputy Secretary of State. “Finding Allies, Building Alliances explains how successful managers cooperate to achieve goals and get things done in an environment brimming with complexity, uncertainty, and a multiplicity of actors.”

Written in conjunction with his former Chief of Staff, Rich McKeown, Leavitt reviews their first-hand experiences building high-level collaborations in the public and private sectors. In Finding Allies, Building Alliances: 8 Elements that Bring—and Keep—People Together (Jossey-Bass; 978-1-118-24792-1; September 2013; $29.95; e-book available), Leavitt and McKeown help senior executives, managers, and anyone who needs to find solutions to complex problems by introducing 8 elements that will empower any leader to foster and maintain an effective alliance venture.

Clayton M. Christensen, Harvard business professor and author of the book’s foreword, writes: “When we succeed at a difficult task, too many of us learn that the hammer that worked once is the tool to be used in every situation. In contrast, Governor Leavitt, in forging alliances as different as cleaning air at the Grand Canyon; creating Western Governors University; and the agreements on how insurance companies will record health care data in a standard format, followed very different paths. His theory is contingent-specific. He articulates the different situations you might find yourself; and then tells you the path you need to follow to be successful in each. The book is filled with ‘if-then’ statements.”

Finding Allies, Building Alliances shows how well structured collaborations can not only solve problems but can also boost competitiveness and market position. “I’ve seen first-hand how collaboration is crucial to success–not only within an organization, but between multiple organizations,” said Google chairman Eric Schmidt. “Leavitt and McKeown provide a clear, simple roadmap for how to approach collaboration and the necessary elements for groups and people working together to succeed.”

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