In the call for contributions for this conference we invited examples of SF work in organisations, shown from different perspectives. You can look forward to at about 12 workshops where you will get an idea about different stories about the process.
How important our conciseness of different views is already widely accepted. I was always looking for good metaphors, which show: not just that the same THING you can look at differently, but your ‘looking at it’ differently makes ‘it’ existing. It was just yesterday that I wrote about it for the conference participants… And today, I came across the best ever metaphor:
‘Cookies’ by Douglas Adams
This actually did happen to a real person, and the real person was me. I had gone to catch a train. This was April 1976, in Cambridge, U.K. I was a bit early for the train. I’d gotten the time of the train wrong. I went to get myself a newspaper to do the crossword, and a cup of coffee and a packet of cookies. I went and sat at a table.
I want you to picture the scene. It’s very important that you get this very clear in your mind. Here’s the table, newspaper, cup of coffee, packet of cookies. There’s a guy sitting opposite me, perfectly ordinary-looking guy wearing a business suit, carrying a briefcase. It didn’t look like he was going to do anything weird. What he did was this: he suddenly leaned across, picked up the packet of cookies, tore it open, took one out, and ate it.
Now this, I have to say, is the sort of thing the British are very bad at dealing with. There’s nothing in our background, upbringing, or education that teaches you how to deal with someone who in broad daylight has just stolen your cookies.
You know what would happen if this had been South Central Los Angeles. There would have very quickly been gunfire, helicopters coming in, CNN, you know. . . But in the end, I did what any red-blooded Englishman would do: I ignored it. And I stared at the newspaper, took a sip of coffee, tried to do a clue in the newspaper, couldn’t do anything, and thought, what am I going to do?
In the end I thought, Nothing for it, I’ll just have to go for it, and I tried very hard not to notice the fact that the packet was already mysteriously opened. I took out a cookie for myself. I thought, That settled him. But it hadn’t because a moment or two later he did it again. He took another cookie. Having not mentioned it the first time, it was somehow even harder to raise the subject the second time around. “Excuse me, I couldn’t help but notice . . .” I mean, it doesn’t really work.
We went through the whole packet like this. When I say the whole packet, I mean there were only about eight cookies, but it felt like a lifetime. He took one, I took one, he took one, I took one. Finally, when we got to the end, he stood up and walked away. Well, we exchanged meaningful looks, then he walked away, and I breathed a sigh of relief and sat back.
A moment or two later the train was coming in, so I tossed back the rest of my coffee, stood up, picked up the newspaper, and underneath the newspaper were my cookies.
The thing I like particularly about this story is the sensation that somewhere in England there has been wandering around for the last quarter-century a perfectly ordinary guy who’s had the same exact story, only he doesn’t have the punch line.
(from “The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time”)
The well kept secret 😉 of the conference program is unfolding here, so please visit and enjoy, what’s coming up.
We, the organizers are keen on setting up the framework of the conference, which should offer you the best possibility for learning and sharing. Today we named the workshop rooms – a small but meaningful action. Please read about our choices:
Steve de Shazer (1940-2005) was a social worker, author, and developer and pioneer of solution focused brief therapy. He got interested in the work of Milton Ericson and invested much of observation of and experimentation with it. In 1978, he founded the Brief Family Therapy Center (BFTC) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with his wife Insoo Kim Berg, where they described what they did as Solution Focused Brief Therapy since 1982. De Shazer was originally trained as a classical musician and worked as a jazz saxophonist. His books are inspiration till today for SF practitioners, newcomers may start with his posthumous ‘More than Miracles’ (2006).
Insoo Kim Berg (1934–2007) was a Korean-born American, co-developer of Solution Focused Brief Therapy. With her husband Steve de Shazer, she co-founded the Brief Family Therapy Center (BFTC) in Milwaukee. As a trained psychotherapist she influenced not only the fields of psychotherapy, but encouraged and pioneered applications in consulting, supervision, coaching and organization development. She’s the author of many books, such as ‘Brief Coaching for Lasting Solutions’ with Peter Szabó (2006). The most complete list of publications for Steve and Insoo see on K. Dierolf’s website.
Björn Johansson (1966-2014) was a towering force in the SOLworld community and the SF world. As a consultant he co-founded CLUES with Eva Persson and founded Solutionsurfers Sweden. He initiated the Karlstad group and organized the Malmö SF Summit (2010) as the first gathering of SF working therapists and organizational specialists. He’s innovative work in different fields such as leadership development, job counseling, organizational development is documented in several articles.
John Sproson ( -2013) was a consultant, coach and author. We knew him as an engaged member of the SOLworld community since 2004, admired him on his way through his illness. He successfully applied SF in the field of selling and was always keen on creating useful everyday applications of the approach. See his books The ABC of Sales Lead Generation (2010) and How To Improve Your Self Confidence At Work (2012).
While the early bird tickets are sold out we are happy we got a confirmation for a second pre-conference workshop. From a former CEO of a global acting company you can learn how to create a company which is worthwile to work for and to buy from …
It’ll take place February 4th 9.30-12.30 a.m., before the workshop with Paul Z. Jackson.
We are very happy about the great developments in the SOLworld community, the international network of Solution Focused practitioners. There are a number of events around the globus with slightly different profile coming up 2015. Please consider your choice due to your preferences. These events are, in order of date
– 2nd SOLworld CEE regional conference, Febr 5/6, Budapest (HUN): language English, Early Bird EUR 152/175
Focus on cases in organisations, leading to insights for (SF) practitioners in- and outside of organisations, shown from several perspectives. 2 days kept inexpensive in order to make it affordable for CEE citizents, too. Gathering of a nicely mixed group of participants: form and outside of the region; newcomers in the community and SF oldies. 2 days, 60 people.
–1st Dänish SF conference, supported by EBTA and SOLworld, May 8, Copenhagen (DEN): language: Dänish (some English),
As far we know, the first conference with joint support of EBTA and SOLworld ever. Mix of SF topics coming from the fields of Therapy or Coaching in organisations with international keynotes. 1 day in a group of 60 ppts.
–2nd SOLworldDACH regional conference, May 29/30, Bad Soden (GER), language German
After long years effort of talking English 😉 German Language countries created a cutting edge conference for themselfes and all, who would understand them. All interesting formats, 1.5 days among 100 colleauges.
–J-SOL 8, June 20/21, language Japanese with friendly English translations for guests
The Japanese SF conference for organisations. Long and great tradition started by Aoki san, very big precentage of participants coming from inside of organisations, usually a small delegation from outside Japan. 2 days, no maximum of the group, usually 100+
–SOLworld Summer Retreat, August 9-14, Domaine Château Bellevue, (FR), language English
The balanced-intensiv holistic alternative to SOLworld conferences, mainly open space as structure, so the program is taylored for those wh0’s there. A short week, 30 places, close to sold out
2014. October 19th
We are still collecting contributions for the conference program. Just skyped with a manager of a global company. He’s preparing a SOLtalk on the fields, where -due to his experience- SF can play a role in a multinational company.
More program details are coming soon!
Details from the view of the organizers you can find here.