[COMM-ORG] new book: Power of Collaborative Solutions

Discussion list for COMM-ORG colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Wed Mar 17 07:27:41 CDT 2010

From: tom at tomwolff.com

I am so pleased to announce that The Power of Collaborative Solutions, 
my new book, is off the presses and available for you, and your 
communities, to enjoy. I’m delighted that John Wiley/Jossey-Bass has 
undertaken its publication. After more than four years of writing and 
editing, I am thrilled to be able to hold an actual copy in my hands. I 
wrote the book for all of us who are trying to make our communities—and 
our world—into better places.

The Power of Collaborative Solutions, the culmination of my thirty years 
of community involvement, can help you rediscover democracy where you 
live and work. Inside you will find six key principles for success in 
building health communities, along with easy-to-use, effective tools and 
inspiring stories of ways that people working together have turned their 
communities around, solving problems that seemed impossible to fix. This 
book, like the work it encourages, is based on a broad and deep vision 
of community. It shows how to bring unlikely partners into working 
agreement and how to get things done in spite of politics or cultural 

The book is written for grassroots leaders, community residents, 
professionals in the helping system, community problem-solvers, and 
anyone who designs systems for communities, as well as teachers and 
students. If you have a vision for how the world might work better, this 
book is for you.

In addition to the practical aspects of what I’ve written, you’ll find 
within the book an acknowledgment that there is a strong spiritual 
component to the work of community collaboration. I learned this on my 
journey--that spirituality, no matter how we individually define that, 
helps us create our visions and then make them real. Seeking 
collaborative solutions calls on us to engage communities with 
acceptance and appreciation, to work with various groups with deep 
compassion, and ultimately to understand our fundamental 
interdependence. When we pursue our spiritual purpose in this work, we 
come to understand that indeed people are more alike than we are 
different, and that we can do together things we cannot do apart.

If you’d like to take a look at a sample of the book, you can visit my 
website to check out the table of contents and an excerpt from Chapter 
2, “Building Healthy Communities Through Collaborative Solutions: An 
Overview of the Six Principles” (www.tomwolff.com). One of the exciting 
aspects of Jossey-Bass’s presentation of the book is that the 
community-building tools are available both in the print edition and on 
the web, so that readers can have working copies to use in their 

For ordering information, as well as the previews, visit www.tomwolff.com

Jossey Bass/John Wiley will send an approval copy of the book if you 
would like to consider adopting it for use as a class text. To request 
an evaluation copy, please go to:


Here is what some others are saying about the book:

“Wow! . . . I literally couldn't stop reading . . . not something one 
normally says about a book by a professional in any field!
“This is a truly transformative book and a ‘must read’ for anyone 
concerned with overcoming the limits of the possible through 
collaborative action. Tom Wolff crafts a path to change that is at once 
visionary and achievable. Interweaving poignant stories and hard facts, 
he reminds us of what’s at stake—and shows us the dramatic difference we 
can make by committing to bold new visions of collaboration and community.”
Meredith Minkler, Professor of Health and Social Behavior, University of 
California, Berkeley

"If you want to bring about sustained positive change in your community, 
read this book. The stories will inspire you, and the lessons will shine 
a light on your leadership path."
Tyler Norris, Founding President, Community Initiatives

“So where do we start? Tom Wolff has a number of suggestions. He’d have 
us curb our inclination to blame the victim. . . . He’d have us focus on 
people’s (and communities’) strengths. . . . Start collaborating – 
widely, systematically. And moderate our proclivity to excessive 
professionalism that forgets the imperatives of common sense. In each 
area, he lays out a variety of intriguing—and promising—new approaches 
and solutions. . . .”
 From nationally syndicated columnist Neal Peirce’s foreword to The 
Power of Collaborative Solutions

“Why collaborate? Because that's how to make change, now and in the 
future. Here you’ll find not just theory, but also the hard-won, 
down-to-earth detail on how to make collaboration work where you live 
and act. If you are a practitioner or academic looking to energize and 
strengthen your collaborative skills, Tom Wolff's The Power of 
Collaborative Solutions will pay dividends many times over.”
Bill Berkowitz, Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts Lowell

“Tom’s passion for social justice is equaled only by his courage and 
commitment to progressive causes. Tom has a tremendous fount of 
knowledge and he knows just what to do with it and how to help others 
use it.”
Linda Bowen, Institute for Community Peace

More information about the Colist mailing list