In 1998, representatives of New Mexico's chile pepper industry approached New Mexico State University's College of Agriculture and Home Economics for help in gaining the edge on new global competition. The result was the New Mexico Chile Task Force, which brought together industry, university, and government partners to apply the most up-to-date knowledge and technology to industry problems. Key to the task force's success is the search conference format used in the initial strategic planning phase. This method, pioneered by Emery and Trist in the 1960s, brought together parties with divergent opinions and empowered them to develop strategies to manage change.

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