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Author:Richard Toker

Many roundtables, much learning

We’ve conducted a number of breakfast roundtables over the past few months…many thanks to those of you who attended one! Professionals from all walks of life have joined our “kitchen table” sessions to share perspectives on the challenges of management, on how to be an expert in our role, plus manage, lead and be listened to by other leaders, managers and staff. We shared our Betternxt concept for how Solution Focus could help individuals and organizations do this and  got lots of valuable feedback on how people like to learn and...

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Take it slow to go fast

Perceived and reported ‘failure’ is a hot topic for many organizations. ‘Post-mortems’ are a standard practice adopted by many industries to evaluate the success of an organized effort, endeavour, strategy, event, etc. They have a clear focus—to assess what went wrong. But what does that really achieve? Post-mortems are a formal way of practicing problem-focus. In Solution Focus management, problem-focus is diminished, as it is — more often than not — detrimental to progress.   Though identifying a problem can be helpful in business, devoting time to tearing apart the work of...

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Personal branding…again!

  There’s no shortage of advice and content out there on personal branding, because there’s no shortage of demand. So why not reprise a couple of popular post of Alan’s on this all-to-important-but-neglected chore, from his Fry Monkeys blog. This is personal branding the solutions focus way — i.e., the focus is on strengths, assets and resources; not on what needs work: “7 Steps to Build Your Personal Brand Story…Now!” ...

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Two important articles on mental illness and Teams

The New York Times SundayReview had two remarkable articles on January 17th, on the same page no less, if you happened to be reading it offline as I was that morning. The first, “Redefining Mental Illness,” by T. M. Luhrmann, interprets a recent report by the British Psychological Association and compares it to  new thinking by the National Institute of Mental Health. This is pertaining to diagnoses and labels, such as “mental illness, psychosis or schizophrenia.” The conlusions are that some people find that identifying themselves as having an illness is useful and...

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Finding the Skeleton Keys: An interview with Alan Kay

The Betternxt blog will be conducting an ongoing interview series with Solution Focus experts from around the Globe. This week we sat down with Alan Kay to talk Skeleton Keys — why Solution Focus coaches depend on them, why Alan uses them, and why they work. What is a ‘Skeleton Key’ in Solution Focus? I think Steve de Shazer coined the phrase to help people understand the notion that in Solution Focus we are helping the individual find the answers for themselves. Our job is to open the lock in order for...

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What is Solution Focus?

Ask Better Questions. Accelerate Change. Solution Focus (SF) is a smart model for change, unique only in its simplicity. Much of what is espoused and practiced in Solution Focus has been around in various ways for some time. What makes it different and possibly more effective is the framework in which it is practiced, namely: What already works What we want once the problem goes away What small steps might get us moving in that direction There are many change practices that are helpful to individuals and organizations. Positive Psychology, Appreciative Inquiry, etc., have helped...

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