sfworkthe centre for solutions focus at work

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Transformation Leadership Council

What is SF?

Solutions Focus is an exciting and complete approach to change. From origins twenty years ago, it is now being used by major corporations, top business schools and many coaches and consultants as the methodology of choice where efficient, respectful and lasting change is wanted.

This interactional approach is based on simplicity and building on what works. Many people have attempted to sum up the subtleties of SF. Some descriptions which come close to capturing the flavour include:

  • Finding what works and doing more of it
  • Putting positive difference to work
  • Radical simplicity

As people people get to know the approach, they realize that it is:

  • A great way to find positive actions
  • A subtle skill with language, capable of delicate deployment in the most challenging situations
  • A new paradigm in the way we work with and speak about people

Our work has been inspired by the groundbreaking therapeutic developments of Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg. Their simple and subtle approach has been applied in many settings, with extraordinary results (see the Research page).

We gratefully acknowledge these foundations and the generosity of Steve and Insoo. In our own turn we are committed to making all the latest developments in SF work available to those who are interested to learn about and use them.

Mark's book The Solutions Focus (co-authored with Paul Z Jackson) describes the approach in terms of six SIMPLE principles and six solutions tools. The SIMPLE principles are:

  • Solutions - not problems
  • Inbetween - the action is in the interaction
  • Make use of what's there - not what isn't
  • Possibilities - from the past, present and future
  • Language - simply said
  • Every case is different - beware ill-fitting theory

The six solutions tools are:

  • Platform - where are we starting from?
  • Future Perfect - suppose the problem went away overnight - what would happen instead?
  • Scaling - where are we now?
  • Counters - whatever helps us forward
  • Affirm - what's already going well?
  • Small Actions - tiny next steps that make big differences

You can learn to use these Tools, or other tools like our unique coaching model OSKAR, and then even begin to invent new tools for your own situations and organisations.


Coming events

Introduction to SF tools and principles
Heverlee, Belgium: 11-12 September 2014

Mark and Jenny are opening the Il Faro mastercourse for 2014 more...

Latest from our Blogs

Björn Johansson
Sat, 24 May 2014 09:32:40 +0000

Be the ‘ripple in the room’
Fri, 14 Mar 2014 19:16:21 +0000

How to add some positivity in difficult times
Sat, 01 Mar 2014 09:00:31 +0000

SF Tip #5: Giving advice as a coach
Thu, 02 Jan 2014 19:04:47 +0000

SF Tip 4: The 3R model of review
Wed, 06 Nov 2013 10:01:27 +0000

SF Tip #3: How to deal with Yes-buts
Mon, 30 Sep 2013 11:57:16 +0000

Leadership metaphors from the World Open Space
Wed, 09 Jan 2013 09:43:20 +0000

contact sfwork

15 St George's Avenue
London N7 0HB
United Kingdom

Tel +44 (0)8453 707 145
Email