Quote below – Steve de Shazer – Clues pp 98

“When possible, extract step-by-step descriptions of any exceptions.

  1. Find out what is working, and/or
  2. find out what has worked, and/or
  3. find out what might work, then
  4. prescribe the easiest.

If some aspects of the exception (or of the complaint) are sort of random, then

  1. include something arbitrary or make allowances for randomness in the task. “

Change that requires people cannot move in a step-by-step process. It may move from loosely framed boundaries of what is working and not working to attract/repel what is working and not working.

Identifying clues and observable descriptions of what happens when the exceptions take place.

When ‘feelings’ are described, guide the team or person to tell what, where, how, and when those feelings are happening differently about their actions, locations, and interactions…

Constructing what change is useful, reasonable, and when, how, where what exceptions (when the complaint does not happen) are noticeable will create a narrative that we can develop small experiments to see how to move closer to what’s working.

This change uses the environment and the organization/team/person resources as they are currently, not attempting to identify some ideal outcome. They are using the current environment and resources as good enough (because the team/person created and works in that environment), respect the interactive nature of work, and may bring change through a small nudge instead of a prescriptive yank.