Finding ‘What Works’ with Solution-Focused Consulting and Training is a quick walk on a long path. You can make it through the path and find your way easily, with little effort.

Every time you walk the path…you find something that you did not see and perhaps understand before. Discovering, every time you walk this path, new things you never noticed and knew existed have become obvious.

What is Solution-Focused?
  • The approach values simplicity in philosophy and language and aims to discover “what works” in a given situation, simply and practically. The focus on what’s wanted (not what’s wrong), what’s going well (rather than what’s gone badly) and practical progress (rather than explanatory theory) leads to a positive and pragmatic way to work with organizations and individuals. From http://www.solworld.org
What is the Miracle Question?
  • The Miracle Question The miracle question is a method of questioning that a coach, therapist, or counselor uses to aid the client to envision how the future will be different when the problem is no longer present. Also, this may help to establish goals. Wikipedia

A form of the Miracle Question:

SOLVED Solution Finding Model www.create-learning (10)

I tried a variation with a Project Team of Aircraft Engineers. This variation stemmed from my fear of using the miracle question and my knowledge that it works.

The team and I had spent 3 days working through root-cause analysis and struggling to determine what was causing a certain screw to vibrate lose during flight.

The engineers had statistics, charts, specifications for all sorts of things…and I was there to facilitate the team through Innovation Models to develop a solution to this vibrating screw.

At the end of day 3 we were all losing patience and we felt it was hopeless…so I said fuck it and tried the following version of the Miracle Question.

Things are rough and I am not sure what innovation and problem-solving methods + models I can throw at you. We know what we want to have happen ( what the solution will look like when complete ); we have the right people here to fix this and we are not making progress. Here is my suggestion let’s stop now and come back at this tomorrow. AND before you leave I have one last thing… think about this question and return with an answer for the team at 0800 tomorrow morning.

You leave here and place your project planning and analysis results on your desk. Then you do what you normally do after work. While you are asleep one of your staff finds the project plans and analysis of this problem and he knows exactly how to fix it and he does. BUT because you work a different shift and he knows better than to take documents from your desk…you have no idea he fixed this problem. What would be the 1st concrete thing you would notice when you walked in here tomorrow morning that this problem is fixed?

I heard a couple what is he talking about comments and went back to my hotel room.

The team arrived at 0800…before I could even ask for responses to the question 3 people were charting action items and the rest of the team was nodding their heads…By noon they had the screw in the test lab and by 3:00pm had reached the solution-point.

In the de-briefing and lessons-learned discussion the next day 2 of the 6 people on the team told me that they took my question seriously…and when they woke up the solution was in their heads.

What do you think?

How could you use a variation of the Miracle Question with your team? With yourself? What ideas do you know work and are hesitant to try?

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