Welcome to the 2018 Edition
Jul 26, 2020
Growing your practice of SF in organisations
We are delighted to launch this 2018 edition of the Solution Focus in Organisations Online InterAction Journal.
It is in the nature of SF that it can be found everywhere. Yet it is not shapeless. We can grasp hold of it, know it when we see it, and make what is working grow. This edition demonstrates some very unique ways of noticing where SF can be found and where noticing takes us.
This edition is filled with great examples of how organisations have implemented SF successfully into their daily practice and also, how SF can drastically change the way we perceive situations, ourselves and others. A big thank you to all of the authors and reviewers who have contributed to this issue!
On an emotional note, we dedicate this issue to Denise Wright, who contributed so much to bringing SF to Asia. We feature a case study by Denise of SF consultancy work she did with a global pharmaceutical company, using SF to shift their culture to a more collaborative, systemic working approach.
Also on the theme of SF’s impact on organisational change, we have: the video, “To Go Full Jedi”, which shows how SF has had great success in working with families in the UK; the audio interview with Hi5, an IT business in Sweden, which highlights that SF can lead to business growth; Wim Sucaet’s article which explains how he used SF to achieve change more effectively than traditional methods.
The interview with an HR specialist, “How SF impacts perception”, highlights how SF can shift our perception and consequently our approach to those involved in change. Interestingly, “To Go Full Jedi” also touches on this in a metaphorical way and in “An SF Conversation With…” Peter Szabo discusses how he now perceives he is much more focused on listening than questioning in his coaching, acting as a “Caring Witness” for his coachees.
Marco Matera introduces his “SF Chart” as a new tool for using SF with individuals and teams and you can hear and read two SFiO contributors peer review Wim’s change project to enable him to achieve his “Reviewed Contributor” status. We include the audio and written work in this edition of InterAction because it has some great lessons and also to highlight the value of having your peers review a piece of your work.
Wendy van den Buick shares how her experience of working with horses and how for them, SF is a way of life. She goes so far as to say that all nature is SF and that if nature isn’t SF it disappears. Wendy is opening up entirely new ground for noticing, giving us more to explore.
A completely different aspect is provided by Sophie Geisler, who invites us to the possibility of using SF for big thinking with unknown ripple effects, describing her work in Mexico City on wars between drug cartels, with other interesting and challenging situations. She asks us to explore whether SF already exists in big thinking and how we might offer SF for the global challenges ahead. We ask you to comment on this article on LinkedIn to stimulate discussion on the topic of SF and big thinking.
Finding what’s working in another place deemed unlikely, is the work of Emma Burns with young offenders in the New Zealand police, who starts with people telling her “he’ll never talk to you – he has never talked to anyone who has tried” and ends with 89% of her 400 cases over 6 years no longer coming to the notice of police. Just as Emma highlights the negative assumptions that exist of offenders, we have a great discussion between Kati Hankovsky and Adam Froerer on the assumptions or, technically, the presuppositions that we use in SF. They explain how we can use presuppositions for positive outcomes in our work.
A completely different piece of noticing comes from Mo Hagar and the burgeoning world of agile. Noticing the synergies between agile principles and SF he brings them to life using the SF clues as the lever.
Inge Nijkamp provides a great example of how social workers in organisations can return to one of the true principles of effective social work by using SF as a reflective process in their highly complex world.
Our treasured article is an extremely practical and elegant use of SF to move teams from conflict to unity laid out with great clarity by Annette Gray. While John Brooker’s article on the SF Question Tree encourages us to notice the purpose of our questioning.
Finally, there is a superb piece of noticing by Mark McKergow, discussing SFBT 2.0, a description of the change he has noticed in how SF is being developed and used since its origins. A landmark piece.
Editing the journal involves a lot of work, but the learning we obtain from hearing and reading the work of excellent international practitioners of SF makes it all worth it. We hope you will enjoy discovering the nuggets in this latest edition and extending your knowledge in the sunshine (at least in Europe).
Planning for the next edition is already underway and we look forward to bringing that to you later this year. If you are experienced in SF and would like to be an interviewer, or write a review; if you have something of interest to tell organisations and organisational practitioners, in an article or interview, or you have a topic of interest for an online chapter meet; please contact the editors at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you
Carey Glass, Annie Bordeleau and John Brooker – Editorial Team