Collaborative thinking: four key roles you need in your team

In his unique book “Dialogue and the art of thinking together” William Issacs introduces the Four-Player System originally developed by David Kantor. This is a very important technique for supporting real collaborative thinking in teams.


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In the book Isaacs suggests that in any productive group thinking dialogue all four of the following roles should be in play:

  1. Mover
    Without Movers there is no direction
  2. Opposer
    Without Opposers there is no correction
  3. Follower
    Without Followers there is no completion
  4. Bystander
    Without Bystanders there is no perspective

The roles do not all need to be in play at the same time but need to have been played before the thinking concludes.