What is Solution Focus?
Solution Focus is an approach to change that radically departs from what’s traditionally been done in the field.
Most changes approaches seek problems and have people solve them.
Solution Focus rather seek what works already with respect to what’s wanted, and helps amplify it. Out of the field pf psychotherapy, Solution Focus is not gaining momentum in organizational settings. A seminal book for that field is “The Solution Focus: Making Coaching & Change SIMPLE“. The two authors’ web sites provide plenty of papers explaining different facets of SF. They are:
- Paul Z Jackson and Janine Waldman, The Solutions Focus, www.thesolutionsfocus.co.uk
- and Mark McKergow and Jenny Clarke, centre for solutions focus at work, www.sfwork.com
SF is based on the premises that in every situation, there’s something that works (or that is better sometimes, maybe at least partially).
How to do Solution Focus?
Basically, the approach goes as this:
- move from a problem to a Platform (the opposite of the problem: what is it that we want?)
- identify a Future Perfect
- on a Scale from 1 (nothing works with respect to the problem) to 10 (Future Perfect), where are we now?
- as chances are that people don’t feel they are at 1, identify Counters that make it a N rather than a 1 or even N-1. These are Skills, Behaviors, Knowledge, etc. that help make the situation better than worse
- then Affirm these Counters to release energy for the change toward the Future Perfect
- and finally, identify Small Steps that could be done right now to start moving from N to N+1 on the scale. These small steps will provide results (further fulling energy for the change) and reveal new Counters to Affirm and help move up the Scale.
There’s an associated coaching framework that goes along the somewhat same steps. Yet, it’s not mandatory to start at the beginning.
An excellent SF-dedicated blog is Coert Visser’s Doing What Works.
Solution Focus Summary
I did a small summary of the approach in the attached PDF of this page (print to A4 recto-verso): TRI Solution Focus v1.4 EN