This semester, will you send your students out into the world to have powerful conversations?

If you call your students into action, we’ll provide you with:

  • Our free Curriculum Resources Package
  • A free coaching conversation to help you integrate the material in your teaching
  • A free exam copy of our book

“Our country’s future depends on our ability to reach beyond our echo chambers. Jay and Grant guide us through starting the conversations so crucial to our democracy.”

Van Jones, CNN Cohost, Author, and Activist

A field manual for change agents on how to build bridges across differences and move from talk to action.

Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of ORIGINALS and GIVE AND TAKE

This book is not for the faint-hearted, but if you truly want to change the world, it gives us the tools and the inspiration to do so.

Gwen RutaSenior Vice President, Climate and Energy, Environmental Defense Fund

We need the creativity that can be harnessed from competing perspectives to craft a thriving organization and a thriving society. This book gives people the tools to take that on.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market

Whether you’re hoping to shift your company, your community, or even yourself, Jay and Grant have produced an accessible and practical guide that will make you chuckle with recognition — then motivate you to get to work.

Christine BaderAuthor of The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist: When Girl Meets Oil

In this savvy and highly practical book, Gabriel Grant and Jason Jay offer a way forward for groups that get stuck in seemingly hopeless, zero-sum conflicts. It should be required reading not only for corporate offices but also for congregations who preach unity and peace, but don’t always know how best to achieve them. And in a period of real polarization and deep division in our national culture, this is a book for our time.

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, XXVIIPresiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church

Conversations are the most important leverage point for leaders and change makers. Jason Jay and Gabriel Grant offer critical insights and tools that will help you craft better conversations and thus a better world.

Otto ScharmerFounder, Presencing Institute, Author Theory U and Leading from The Emerging Future

IN USE AT…

AS SEEN AT…

ABOUT THE BOOK

Think about the last time you tried to talk with someone about political, social, or environmental issues who didn’t already agree with you. How well did it go?

All too often, well-meaning attempts to effect change get stuck in the noisy traffic jam of competing ideas, priorities, and ideologies. Indeed, gridlock is holding the United States and other countries across the globe hostage, illustrating on a large scale how rare it is for individuals to break through and produce results for oneself, one’s organization, or our society as a whole.

In Breaking Through Gridlock: The Power of Conversation in a Polarized World, authors Jason Jay and Gabriel Grant share clear-cut and actionable pathways for having these hard conversations. The well-tested methods advocated in this book can be applied to any conversation where change is needed. With proven exercises and rich examples, this interactive ‘field guide’ walks readers through a process of transforming paralysis and effecting positive change.

Endorsements

“A field manual for change agents on how to build bridges across differences and move from talk to action.”
—Adam Grant, Professor of Management, The Wharton School, and New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take

“This book is not for the fainthearted, but if you truly want to change the world, it gives us the tools and the inspiration to do so.”
—Gwen Ruta, Senior Vice President, Climate and Energy, Environmental Defense Fund

“Our country’s future depends on our ability to reach beyond our echo chambers. Jay and Grant guide us through starting the conversations so crucial to our democracy.”
—Van Jones, cofounder and President, The Dream Corps; CNN contributor; and author

“We need the creativity that can be harnessed from competing perspectives to craft a thriving organization and a thriving society. This book gives people the tools to take that on.”
—John Mackey, CEO, Whole Foods Market

“Jason Jay and Gabriel Grant single out authenticity as the key to breaking through the conversational gridlock that afflicts so many of our public and private interactions. They highlight the traps we fall into, as well as promising pathways for working our way out of them. It won’t be easy, but you can use the exercises they offer to practice sidestepping the polarizing moves we make without even being aware of what we are doing.”
—Lawrence Susskind, founder of the Consensus Building Institute; Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning, MIT; and Vice Chair, Program on Negotiation, Harvard Law School

“Whether you’re hoping to shift your company, your community, or even yourself, Jay and Grant have produced an accessible and practical guide that will make you chuckle with recognition—then motivate you to get to work.”
—Christine Bader, author of The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist

“In this savvy and highly practical book, Gabriel Grant and Jason Jay offer a way forward for groups that get stuck in seemingly hopeless, zero-sum conflicts. It should be required reading not only for corporate offices but also for congregations who preach unity and peace, but don’t always know how best to achieve them. And in a period of real polarization and deep division in our national culture, this is a book for our time.”
— The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, XXVII Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church

“Conversations are the most important leverage point for leaders and change makers. Jason Jay and Gabriel Grant offer critical insights and tools that will help you craft better conversations and thus a better world.”
— Otto Scharmer, Founder, Presencing Institute, and author of Theory U and Leading from The Emerging Future

In the News
& Media

Positive Luxury Feature: Breaking Through Gridlock

Sophie Corfan interviews author Jason Jay, and reflects on the lessons of Breaking Through Gridlock.

“Keeping a conversation productive and finding a solution that pleases everyone is often a challenge – a problem that is ordinarily exacerbated when those involved have diametrically opposing viewpoints. Breaking Through Gridlock is a book that focuses on tackling these particular occasions – both in personal and professional arenas – providing tools to help you keep conversations on track and create change that works for everyone. We spoke to co-author Jason Jay, a Senior Lecturer at MIT and member of our Sustainability Council, to find out more about how the book came about.”

READ MORE

Huffington Post Book Review: Can Authenticity Melt Gridlock? An MIT Scholar and a CEO Say Yes.

“In a world with more ways to communicate than ever, we often seem more close-minded than ever. It doesn’t have to be that way. Whether you’re a corporate manager trying to inspire employees or a professor wading through difficult issues within campus cultures that can feel politically stale and overly judgmental, Breaking Through Gridlock provides a forward-path.”

READ MORE

SB’17 Detroit Workshop Explores Actionable Strategies for Breaking ‘Gridlock’

Nithin Coca re-caps Jason Jay and Gabriel Grant’s Sustainable Brands workshop on Breaking Through Gridlock.

“Gridlock – being stuck in a seemingly intractable situation – can come in many forms. It can be a colleague who refuses to believe in climate change, or an executive who, for reasons hard to understand, is holding back progress on a key sustainability initiative at your company. But it is undoubtedly…”

READ MORE

MIT Newsroom: A Toolset for Getting Stuck Conversations Back On Track

In an interview with MIT Sloan’s Newsroom about Breaking Through Gridlock, Jason explains how to rethink and reboot the conversations holding you back.

READ MORE

GreenBiz: The 3 Pitfalls That Trap Sustainability Leaders - and How to Avoid Them

Ellen Weinreb (CEO of the Weinreb Group) reflects on her experience with successful (and not-so-successful) sustainability advocacy after reviewing Grant and Jay’s working paper on Pitfalls & Pathways.

READ MORE

#BreakingGridlock
on Twitter

THE AUTHORS

Jason Jay

Jason grew up in Boulder, Colorado, where he lived in awe of snowy mountains and watched his parents build a business that improved people’s lives. He moved to Boston and fell in love with his wife, Alaka, and life in a coastal city. Alaka’s family in India made him their own and helped him see the world as fundamentally interconnected. He grew to understand how all these places he loves are fragile and committed himself to seeing them flourish for his children, Vikram and Uma, to enjoy with their children.

Today, Jason is a senior lecturer and the director of the Sustainability Initiative at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He teaches courses on strategy and innovation for sustainable business to hundreds of leaders every year. Through his writing, teaching, and community building, he empowers business leaders to help their organizations thrive while tackling the tough social and environmental challenges of our time. Before he began teaching, he ran an Internet start-up, traveled around the world, taught kindergarten, received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in education from Harvard University, worked as a consultant with Dialogos International, and earned a doctorate in organization studies from MIT.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jasonjjay/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasonjay/

Gabriel Grant

When Gabriel was a child, his parents went to work each day to contribute toward making the world a better place. He couldn’t wait to grow up and do the same. Over the past fifteen years, he has provided training for more than one thousand purpose-driven leaders and world-class change agents, including social entrepreneurs from six continents and sustainability directors and vice presidents from more than 150 major brands. He envisions a world where people are fully alive, where all life flourishes together through people experiencing their life as a calling, and where people share their whole selves, just as they are, just as they’re not, and as who they want to become.

Today Gabriel’s work supports organizations in creating cultures of purpose, trust, and engagement. He is the CEO of Human Partners and cofounder of the Byron Fellowship Educational Foundation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s in ecological systems engineering from Purdue University and a master’s in leadership and sustainability from Yale University. His research at Yale explored the relationships between micro-level flourishing of individuals, flourishing organizations and communities, and a flourishing planet. He lives in Seattle with his wife, Sarah, and daughters, Ariana and Madeleine with whom he shares a mission of creating unconditional love and powerfully contributing to others.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gabrielgrant
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gabriel.grant
Twitter: https://twitter.com/gbgrant

SPEAKING & CONSULTING

We run workshops and consult for companies, organizations, communities, and investor groups interested in effecting positive change.

CURRICULUM RESOURCES

Our free curriculum resources support educators in bringing Breaking Through Gridlock to the classroom.

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