Sharing and building Solution Focused practice in organisations

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 applications.

Yet mention SF to most managers and they glaze over. So we sell applications – strategic planning, etc.

Tony Hsieh – book launch, Delivering Happiness – met Alan. TS implemented through staff for customers, built in his own co and sold it. Then invested in Zappos overnight clothes company – obsessed with customer. Measure how long they spend on phone with
customer – record is 7 hours. TS took PP
and ‘operationalised’ it.


Check that your SF project aligns with business goals of the organisation. Ask how does this work fit your org’s business goals.

Give organisation access to SF in new ways – eg calling it ‘coaching’. Or for senior people who don’t ‘need’ coaching, call it direct route to outcomes.

Aim to differentiate – particularly with the aspects that bring greater value than competitors. Perhaps a route to happiness is part of it. Feeling good about what we are doing – and
performance goes up.

SF as faster, taking less time and less money, for example, to get a team working well together in just one day. Take this position as a usable application.

Show managers the research – facts demonstrating connected usefulness. Especially independent research. SOL can help the
researchers. Seligman has $2m.

Create packages – modules and programmes. SF Perf management system, SF 360, etc. Exciting and glossy look, language they use already, contains research/testimonials.

The phone rings constantly

Why are they ringing us in 5 years time?

· They see sense (at last) – we’ve got the message out

· They heard rumours

· It’s anchored in academic world

· They know we are competent and understand their situation

· Secondary benefits – beyond the obvious

· Books that dramatise the stories

Well prepared for the big paradigmatic shift – get ready to be busy, to be ready to meet the demands for practitioners who can make difference in their industries. Fine to
be in league with the academics who are showing what we are doing works. Taught and researched in universities.

A big conference?

Davos of SF. Leaders to present. Sonja Radatz method.

What do we do to increase that presence?

· Overview of research

· Connections with nearby fields

· Document success stories – what happened in the organisation

· Noise on the net – aggregate and infiltrate

· Circulate notes

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Comment by Alan Kay on August 30, 2010 at 21:57
Forgot to thank you Paul for capturing the team's thinking. I said last week at SFCT that Alexander Graham Bell took a few years to perfect the first telephone (he likely didn't 'invent' it), plus quite a few years to get people to use phones when they were first sold. The user prospects thought the phone was a neat idea, but were quite happy with the mail which many got delivered twice a day in their city. Bell had to put phones in bars and hotels to let people see them being used before they decided to buy one.
Crudely, we need to 'commercialize' SF to a wider business/organizational world. Inventions are great, but selling or distributing them is another matter. Often the inventors don't make it happen, others do. Alan.




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