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  1. Get your scope right.
    Identify the area you will address. This will determine what is relevant and what is not as you move forward, untangling inter-dependent relationships.
  2. Identify your Most Valuable Players
    Now you are looking at the group that is relevant to the logjam. Who needs to be in the room to find and initiate a real solution? This is your guest list.
  3. Conduct the Interviews to Map the Territory
    Contact people and construct a Reconnaissance Report which chronicles what you learn. Capture high-value statements and include them without attribution. You want people paying more attention to the content than who said what.  Note: Keep in mind that because you are operating on a logjam, initial contact begins the process directing peoples’ attention toward the obstacle. Movement will begin immediately. There is a tendency to view this as preparation. In truth, the operation has begun with the first conversation.
  4. Set up the Breakthrough Session for Success
    All bets ride on the outcome of the face-to-face event. Do everything in your power beforehand to ensure it is successful.  Pour your heart and effort into establishing the conditions for success.
  5. Participate fully in the Breakthrough Session
    Each step of the way, do everything you can do to press for results. This requires focused attention to the group’s process. Your job is to ensure that the group takes up the challenge and deals with the issues as effectively as possible with a common intention to find the most productive way forward.
  6. Be ready to provide support in follow-up
    When the breakthrough occurs, it will require support to be carried out. Be ready to jump in and lend it where needed. Follow-up is where the action takes place and requires everything you've got to see your breakthrough move from the initial freeing of energy into successful execution.
Seth Kahan ( is a Change Leadership specialist. He has consulted with CEOs and executives in over 50 world-class organizations that include Shell, World Bank, Peace Corps, Marriott, Prudential, American Society of Association Executives, International Bridge Tunnel and Turnpike Association, Project Management Institute, and NASA. He is the founder of Seth Kahan’s CEO Leaders Forum, a year-long learning experience for CEOs in Washington, DC. His book, Getting Change Right: How Leaders Transform Organizations from the Inside Out, is a Washington Post bestseller. Visit for more info and a free excerpt.  Follow Seth on Twitter. Learn more about Seth's work at