How to willfully ignore the root cause of problems

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It will irritate the engineers, but forget trying to understand the problems you face!

Solution Focus (SF) is a smart model for change. When utilized within organizations it transforms the way we look at change. The origins of SF lie in the world of therapy, not the kind where you lie on a couch and talk about your problems, but rather looking at what we want to happen so that we can move forward. We reframe problems by looking around them for purposeful elements, solutions within, and we willfully ignore the cause of what troubles us.

Most organizations tend to be problem-focused…it’s the way of our society. The typical SWOT analysis weighs heavily on the weakness and threats with scant attention to strengths and opportunities. In SF we don’t obsess about the problem, and certainly not its cause, so we can deal more effectively and move faster to things that work.

There are some core elements that make this change model clearly distinguishable from contemporary change models and thus more effective…..

Six principles of Solution Focus that ignore the problem monkeys (and help speed up organizational change)

SF asks, it does not tell. The consultant does not present the solution – the client arrives at it via better questions

The client is the expert in the change they want

The client has the answers to make progress. They work with what they have in order for change to present itself

By self-identifying the resources for change, the client can scope out a preferable future. From this, the small steps will appear

When the client sees small steps happening right away, the bigger change that they wanted has begun

Change as little as possible

By being counterintuitive and thwarting the use of the ‘complain / understand / fix model’ which is instilled in so many organizations, they can better manage change in the workplace. By clarifying the “issue” and not the causes clients identify where to focus and what they want to be different. From this they identify what they want to happen in the future and start to move towards that destination.  Having a clear picture of where it is they want to go, they can start to put one foot in front of the other and start making progress immediately.

SF is a framework for change that is geared for positive outcomes, happier, more productive organizations by focusing on solution building. If you can shift your mindset from being problem-driven and reactive and into solution-building, change-embracing and progress-driven, then this model can work in ways that are right for you and your organization.



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  1. Pingback: The Underskilled Manager’s Solutions Toolbox | Fry The Monkeys

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