Sharing and building Solution Focused practice in organisations

Paul Z Jackson's Blog (14)

SF and the new politics of Syriza in Greece

What can we say about politics from a solution-focused viewpoint?  I know several SF practitioners have been considering that question for a while, and it was on Fania Pallikarakis's mind when she interviewed me recently for her article in the Huffington Post.


Here's the interview.


FP           Do you believe that SF ideas could apply in a political setting?

PZJ         Solutions Focus is the direct route to positive change. The approach is founded on…


Added by Paul Z Jackson on February 17, 2015 at 13:35 — 1 Comment

Lessons from a spin doctor – how the Inner Game met Solutions Focus

I’ve just spent three days on a tennis court, learning the intricacies of the Inner Game – and beyond – with a group of sports coaches led by former US tennis pro Sean Brawley. I went with two aims. 

One was to improve my tennis and the other was to clarify the resonances between Inner Game (IG) and Solutions Focus (SF). Here’s how the best bits of Inner Game make sense to me, in an amalgam with SF.

To make progress in anything probably demands Focus…


Added by Paul Z Jackson on June 30, 2014 at 12:00 — 3 Comments

How an SF captain could have inspired England v Uruguay at the World Cup

Here is the most recent blog from The Solutions Focus:

Before England’s 2-1 defeat in their crucial World Cup game with Uruguay, captain Steven Gerrard warned his players they faced a "terrible" summer if they lost.

Gerrard, who went through disappointing World Cup campaigns in 2006 and 2010 - when England lost 4-1 to Germany - said he underlined the high price of failure in a special address to the squad.

"Going into this game, (they have) to realise it could be…


Added by Paul Z Jackson on June 24, 2014 at 12:16 — 1 Comment

The SOL2012 Experience Begins - With A Very Small Miracle

As I look from my bedroom high over the magnificent quadrangle of Keble College, the signs are promising for a good day at the SOL2012 conference. 

Yesterday afternoon, 30 people gathered at Science Oxford for our pre-conference and enthusiastically learned our 12 Things You Need To Know about Solutions Focus.  They asked some great questions, which we can track through the conference, such as how much can one embrace SF in our personal lives, and does the methodology allow for…


Added by Paul Z Jackson on September 6, 2012 at 6:52 — 2 Comments

Fifty Shades of Therapy - a literary treat

As I was reading volume 2 of the latest literary erotic sensation, Fifty Shades of Grey, I found a particularly arousing passage 79% of the way through.  “SFBT - The latest therapy option,” one character recommends to our heroine.


The therapist himself, Dr John Flynn, is good enough to describe Solution Focused Brief Therapy:  “Essentially, it’s goal-oriented.  We concentrate on where Christian wants to be and how to get him there… There’s no point breast-beating about the…


Added by Paul Z Jackson on July 5, 2012 at 20:39 — 3 Comments

What difference did publishing 'The Solutions Focus' book make?

It’s ten years now since the publication of The Solutions Focus.  We wanted the book to spread the ideas, and ten years later it’s succeeded to some extent – there’s a flourishing world-wide community of practitioners, a great annual conference, and thousands of people who have used SF in their lives and work.  The OSKAR coaching model pops up in many organisations, and it’s fun to recognise elements of SF in some unlikely places.

I heard yesterday, for example, that at Wembley Arena,…


Added by Paul Z Jackson on February 22, 2012 at 16:00 — No Comments

"Give me feedback or I die" - analysing interactions

In a brilliant introduction to his presentation on Microanalysis, Harry Korman told his audience, “Give me feedback or I die.  When I look at you I need you to nod.”

This was not simply amusing self-disclosure, but contained an important truth about interactions.  He described an…


Added by Paul Z Jackson on November 28, 2011 at 15:31 — 1 Comment

The primary question to ask your clients - and how and when to ask it

If you are ever lucky enough to be handed one of my business cards, as well as my pretty face on it you’ll see a question:  it asks, ‘What do you want?’ 

It does so because this is a central question in any solution-focused (SF) conversation.  As a question it may seem an obvious one to ask in many contexts – it is difficult, for example, to imagine getting very far as an organisational consultant or as a coach without it.  

But in other settings, such as medicine, that’s not…


Added by Paul Z Jackson on October 31, 2011 at 8:46 — No Comments

Staying On The Surface

Notes from a discussion led by Paul Z Jackson and Joost van Iersel, at SOL Summer Retreat, Fontana Passug August 2012

We say that good Solution Focus practitioners 'stay on the surface'. And we treat this as a good thing. What do we mean by staying on the surface?

If we read we Bateson and Dilts (to pick but two), we get tempted to talk about ‘identity’ and other mentalistic, psychological…


Added by Paul Z Jackson on August 18, 2011 at 22:49 — 7 Comments

EBTA Malmo, what else was useful and interesting?

Anton Stellamans led a sparkling session, in which he took us on a quest for a different kind of philosophy, suggesting that perhaps SF itself is a different kind of philosophy.

I’m not sure I understood all of what was said, but here are my more or less useful…


Added by Paul Z Jackson on September 8, 2010 at 7:36 — 1 Comment

Stories from behind the mirror. Recollections of SFBT’s early days, by the founders of brief therapy.

Notes from a session at EBTA conference, Malmo, 5 September 2010

Brian Cade with Gale Miller, Eve Lipchick, John Walter and Wally Gingerich.

Eve: The difference now is that the dream has come true. From six people with no money in a think tank – and it happened. Here we are at an international meeting of people with the ideas we developed and trained.

The prevailing Milan model was to…


Added by Paul Z Jackson on September 5, 2010 at 9:00 — 9 Comments

The most important thing you need to know if your workshop isn’t working. What to do when you are facilitating or training with an SF approach.

Report of group discussion at SOL summer retreat, Switzerland.

We shared stories of times it was not going so well – from trainings that went slightly off track to open rebellions from individuals or from the whole group.

The SF principle is, of course, ‘If it doesn’t work, do something different’. OK, but what? In radical moments, it may take radical…


Added by Paul Z Jackson on August 20, 2010 at 12:12 — 1 Comment

Making SF more visible in the world - SOL summer report

Alan Kay – SF Applications

Session with Alan Kay facilitating group discussion at SOL summer, Aug 2010

How to expand the reach of SF

How to get stuff out there. Martin Seligman – only talk to the senior people. He succeeds with this, even though one might say that PP has few applications. And many

of those are written for research. Sf is

strong in…


Added by Paul Z Jackson on August 19, 2010 at 9:50 — 1 Comment

Switch - what Chip & Dan Heath's new book adds to the SF repertoire

Switch – How to change things when change is hard

Chip & Dan Heath…


Added by Paul Z Jackson on March 29, 2010 at 15:53 — 3 Comments




Jumpstart into Solution Focus

You want to learn more about "Solution Focus"?

You prefer a "step by step" introduction instead to start with reading some
voluminous books?

You would appreciate to have a complete "helicopter view" on SF after the first step…


Created by Hans-Peter Korn Dec 25, 2009 at 10:25am. Last updated by Mark McKergow Nov 3, 2014.

Making the most of

If you’ve just arrived at (the SOLWorld ning group), you may be looking at all the features and wondering where to start.  This note might be helpful…



Created by Mark McKergow Jun 3, 2008 at 4:55pm. Last updated by Jesper H Christiansen Aug 22, 2017.

Open Space at SOLworld conferences

SOLworld Open Space instructions as it was used at the 2011 conference, by Mark McKergow


Created by Katalin Hankovszky Dec 30, 2015 at 10:18pm. Last updated by Katalin Hankovszky Dec 30, 2015.

SOLWorld Resources

Welcome to the SOLWorld Resources section.  This part of the site features information about the SOLWorld network, our past events and materials from our previous website.  It will take some time to update all the information, so thanks for your patience. 

Information in this part of the site is 'read-only'.  If you want to start discussions, please go to the Forum or Groups. …


Created by Mark McKergow May 12, 2008 at 4:08pm. Last updated by Mark McKergow Dec 2, 2022.

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