‘Once the description of the problem becomes a description of the solution, and exceptions are identified. The problem maintenance ends, and the exception amplification begins.

  1. Solution-focused is interpersonal and might not fit within an organization-development concept. It can be useful in skilled-knowledge, temperament, wisdom, or coaching work (interpersonal). 
  2. A solution-focused difference that matters is co-constructing language games to pick up on differences (exceptions) and levels that may go unnoticed. 
  3. What 17% of difference do you notice or choose not to see? – This is ‘inattentional blindness’  ‘…when you ask someone to perform a challenging task, without realizing it, their attention narrows and blocks out other things. So, often, they literally can’t see even a huge, hairy gorilla that appears directly in front of them. That effect is called inattentional blindness.’
  4. BUT with the wrong people in the system, they will play or manipulate the work/process. How do we create boundary conditions or heuristics of how to reduce or recognize when this is happening? 
  5. Be careful to avoid the deep-belief that ‘medical-models’ apply to human behavior; this can be complicated thinking. Viewing behavior as complicated can force you to seek a single root-cause or cause to the effect you are noticing. There will be multiple root-causes with behavior, and very little can be done about the root-cause in the present. 
  6. Solution-focused is listening for points of difference, exceptions, and areas when better or hopes are happening. Build off those points and ask questions that include the difference and exceptions. 
  7. Consider organization-development a scaffold or container (like an egg) that makes sense of the various roles and role relationships within organizations. Solution-focused interactions within an organization are a property or identity of the organization. And how the people within the roles interact get reinforced through the organization-design. 
  8. When you feel stuck, blocked, feel there is no possible way forward, or at an impasse – solution-focused can co-construct a different view or perspective that will dissolve or resolve those feelings. 
  9. Root-cause and solution-focus are yin-and-yang like or two sides of the same coin. 
  10. Solution-focus is not the opposite of root-cause. Perhaps it is like an alternative universe that you have direct access to (like travelers in ‘The Man in the High Castle’
  11. when describing the solution, one is not sure which problem they are solving, and the description of the solution may not bear much resemblance to the problem’ Steve de Shazer ‘Putting Difference to Work.’ 
  12. Solution-focused cannot combat or beat or overcome a broken organization-development or organization-design. However, maybe, groups of people working together using solution-focus can influence or show the 17% of the difference and create enough perturbation to change the organization. 
mike cardus solved cards deck


Make change happen with a problem-solving approach that’s focused on solutions.