My Top Ten Use Cases for Solution Focus in Organisations

When to Use the Solution Focused Approach

Solution Focus is best applied when tackling complex problems in social systems. It is most useful when it becomes impossible to track or understand the causal connections of a problem – because they are so manifold and any change that is made has unpredictable side-effects leading to new causes of problems etc. In such instances there is no point in analysing each new problem-cycle. Instead, keeping an eye on a shared idea of a “preferred future” (or on “what would be better” or a “solution”) and taking small experimental steps in that direction is a much more efficient path.

Solution Focus works well to facilitate change and collaboration among small and large groups of humans, such as teams, organisations, the ecosystems of organisations, communities, regions or states. Tackling issues of strategy, conflict, talent development, organisational change, customer care, business agility and many more are all within the scope of the Solution Focused approach.

What Effects Can You Expect from Solution Focus?

In instances of organisational challenge using the Solution Focused approach reliably produces several effects at once which can usually only be achieved one at the price of the other: Solution Focus

  • shortens the path to solutions, because of a clear and joint focus on what is wanted
  • strengthens motivation, because people enjoy fast progress and being invited to participate
  • increases cooperation, because solution-focused communication builds high-quality connections
  • decreases risk, because taking small adaptive steps allows for fast course corrections.

Here Are My Top Ten Use Cases for Solution Focus in Organisations:

  1. Building Positive Relations: between co-workers, leaders and staff members, with customers or other stakeholders
  2. Developing People: focusing on skills, fostering talent, increasing a sense of personal purpose and meaning, doing more of what I do best every day, improving engagement and the employee value proposition
  3. Dealing with Crisis and Challenge: encouraging „Best Self“ responses, activating resources, encouraging coping mechanisms
  4. Leading Others: applying a coaching style of leadership, fostering strengths and resources, giving direction, asking for help, expressing gratefulness
  5. Conducting Inspiring Meetings: focusing on outcomes, fun, play and humour, constructive listening, and participation
  6. Building Collaboration in Teams and Groups: using a transparent and inviting stance, strengthening psychological safety and signals of connection, generating positive climate and high energy
  7. Managing Projects: using a Solution Focused metadesign, sustaining small adaptive steps, conducting experiments, paying attention to signs of progress
  8. Interacting with Customers: focusing on “what does the customer want?”, accepting them as experts, asking and observing, designing and adapting with a focus on their needs
  9. Organisational Change: focusing on purpose and vision, iteratively building a strategy, maintaining customer focus, learning, co-creating the change process with stakeholders, embedding positive changes
  10. Building Networks and Communities: building a joint purpose, aligning vision and strategy, fostering sharing and collaboration

You Don´t Need a Problem to be Solution Focused

You don´t need a problem to make the Solution Focused approach work for you. All you need is to want to create something good or better for the future. And to have a “customer for change”: someone who wants something different and is prepared to do something about it.

And yes, of course, that customer for change may be you!

So, what are YOUR top use cases for Solution Focus?? Let me know in your comments.

Find out more about Solution Focus:

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