Sharing and building Solution Focused practice in organisations

It sounds like a title of a new videoclip. But in real life it is a challenging new task that I took on board.
Since Hoogendoorn is the world leader on innovation in the Greenhouse IT business we have a serious (in numbers and mentality...) R&D team. Yearly we spend some 15% of our turnover on R&D, comparable with some of the major pharmaceutical companies. The R&D manager deliberately reports direct to me and not to the commercial manager since it is my opinion that sustainable long term strategic choices are sometimes hampered by short term commercial thinking.
When in January 2009 our R&D manager left our company I decided to take this position as interim manager myself. Inspiration and motivation of the 20, senior academic level, teammembers had to be improved. The yearly employee satisfaction survey showed an overal decrease in satisfaction.
My first steps were to identify where the team needed fresh oil in the gears. It appeared that the 3 teamleaders were not communicating, they only shared "data" and not information.
From several interviews I learned that there is an urgent need to improve. It turned out that it they have a "searching relationship". There was a need for help but the problems are presented in an unworkable manner. I invited the "searchers" to allow me to coach them jointly as a team. I adapted an modified the Reteaming Proces of Ben Furmann and used it as my teamcoachings model. Individual dreams for the team are described and arising from those dreams a "team dream" is formulated to become a dream team.
In the second session goals are identified to make our dream come true. From those goals they choose the most appealing one and named the project.
Before we take the next step I planned a couple of intervision meetings with the team. Coert Visser's article on "the self reflecting management team" formed the basis. So far so good,
Next time: What is our goal and how are we following up? Suddenly a SF change agent pops up!
keep up the good work!

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Comment by Bart van Loon on May 11, 2009 at 14:31
Hi Martin,
Since I've started working with SF, have had the idea SF should be extremly suitable for strategy and R&D also, finding unconventional solutions. The miracle question and even more so, the question of 'what else...' a powerful generators of a creative process. Great read that got the R&D-guys to 'dream' together! Congrats!
Comment by Hans-Peter Korn on May 11, 2009 at 10:31
Thank you, Martin, sharing again (after previous blogs written by you) some of your experiences of SF work in management - especially in the IT-field!

Yes, this:
"It appeared that the 3 teamleaders were not communicating, they only shared "data" and not information."
is one the phenomena in "usual" management contexts. And this is addressed by one of the four "values" of "Agile SW Development" (which has many connections which SF):

>>> Individuals and interactions over processes and tools br />
As I see, you also are attending the SOL World conference in Texel - so we have a pretty chance to share!
And: Josef Scherer and I are offering a workshop there about "Keeping Projects on Track with Solution Focused Agility" on Friday 15 May 2009 at 11:45
You are very welcome to attend this workshop!




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