The next London Bateson Salon meeting will be on Tuesday 5 February 2013 at the British Museum. Join Nora Bateson and Mark McKergow for a day exploring Play, Learning and Change. Full details and booking at http://norabateson.eventbrite.com/.
Do you have a time management system but just don’t really use it? Do you end the day wishing you could be more productive, deliver more and stress less? iFLOW is our new approach to personal effectiveness, where Best Fit and Least Action gives you a way to rapidly realign your work systems with your personal style, producing a way of working that really works – for you. Download our FREE white paper at http://www.sfwork.com/pdf/iFLOWWhitePaper.pdf . Continue reading →
We have an exciting new venture starting later this year. sfwork, in partnership with leading London-based cross-cultural specialists Coghill Beery, will be offering a new workshop – Solutions Focus for Cultural Diversity. The event is promoted by the Society for Organisational Learning Hungary, and we hope to attract participants from across Europe to Budapest for the workshop on 5-6 May 2011.
Research shows that while poorly-managed multicultural teams fare worse than average, similar but well-managed teams do much better. This confirms the idea that the diversity present in a multi-cultural team can be used to advantage, as long as the manager has the tools to do so. SF offers a wonderful set of practical tools to achieve this end. We will also be looking at the impact of virtual working with multi-cultural teams – a huge and growing issue for many businesses.
Full details are on the SoL Hungary website at http://solhungary.hu/2011/02/28/solutions-focus-for-cultural-diversity/ , or use the short link http://tinyurl.com/sfmulti . There you can find details, a pdf and a booking form.
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SFCT UK Chapter CPD day report
Monday 8 November 2010, Leeds. Host: Carey Glass
Present: Mark McKergow, Carey Glass, Antoinette Oglethorpe, Pat Walker, John Wheeler, Greg Vinnicombe, Shakya Kumara, Jenny Clarke, Shaun Lincoln, Victoria Copas, John Taylor
A good crowd gathered at the central Leeds office of Kirk Newsholme for a day’s session of learning, sharing and networking. Our host, Carey Glass, laid on a splendid salmon lunch, and our meeting place was bright and spacious. Several people sent their apologies, some unable to attend due to last minute hiccups.
The day’s main topic was Complexity. Carey Glass presented a piece on Complexity Theory and the Health Service. We looked at Olson’s and Eoyang’s basic principles around the use of complexity in organisations and Carey presented her experiences in light of these to work through. One of the difficulties for the health service is that it needs to be a complex adaptive system that nevertheless needs to work within the traditional demands of a bureaucracy. We also had a quick look at the implications of GP commissioning in light of these approaches. The attendees then divided into two groups and offered valuable reflections on working within these competing demands.
We also continued our tradition of working with emergent topics – anyone who comes to the meeting can add something to the agenda. There were two reflecting team sessions, with Shaun Lincoln and Mark McKergow bringing the issues. Mark wanted some inputs in connection with a team conflict workshop he was running in the near future, particularly about how to build a firm platform at the start of the workshop so that everyone could agree it was worth going on to explore ways of working together. There would also be two senior HR managers attending. The team’s reflections were:
Benefits of working together more effectively – for different stakeholder groups – team members, manager, organisation, our customers (and start with customers)
- Compliments – find a way the team can compliment themselves and the managers can compliment them
- Use a reflecting team with the manager as problem presenter and have the team help him
- Use the HR people early on – multi-partiality
- Model democratic processes so that the manager can use them later on
- Do a ground rules session first – really important. Get them to come up with rules
- Team exercise – what makes you a valuable member of the team (pairs) (what else x 15?)
- Why do I like working here (starting with Sparkling Moments or something), what’s important about what we are doing, why are you pleased to be part of this team?
- Put questions in joining instructions – the team members could even email responses
- What are we proud of achieving since the new manager arrived?
- Moving from yes-but to yes-and
- Do a miracle question exercise – in a process which allows everyone to contribute, not just the noisy ones
- Give time for reflection/private working/pairs
- When you get to actions – could to one thing I will do and one request I have from others in order to do that/help me to do that
- What would be good enough?
- Given the Future Perfect – suppose that happened, what would you be doing in response to that? (Ask this as follow up question) Then build on what of that you are doing already.
- Interdependency mapping exercise – who depends on who for tasks. Could cluster them in smaller groups
- Accountability – what will happen next, feedback to MMcK in some form, not just a one-off exercise. Has to keep happening outside the room.
- Scaling and counter gathering in small groups
- Requests among interdependent groups
- What do we have to get right? Divide into ‘my sphere of influence’ and requests from others
- Use the HR people as facilitators in three groups of 5?
- Use the HR people as affirmers of what happens in the room
- Use the HR people for wider know-how and witnessing – grounds for optimism etc
- Use HR people to bring an external perspective on this from the rest of the organisation
Pat Walker brought a couple of topics to the meeting; she writes
We had an excellent session at the SFCT CPD meeting on Monday 8th November. Despite the long journey and dreadful weather, I came away energised and motivated to keep going with the marketing stuff. Everyone was very generous in sharing know-how and it helps to feel less isolated. The format works well for me where there is a key presenter [and Carey’s issue was a really useful example to work on] and an opportunity for everyone to bring an issue they want to discuss or have help with. I wanted help in knowing how to go about writing a case study and how to get onto the conference circuit. Below are the ideas the group came up with.
Issue: Things to consider when writing a case study
Benefits of using case study as marketing material – on website initially
- Think beginning/middle/end
- Know your purpose ie., end publication, credibility, confidence
- Find good examples of other case studies
- See Antoinette Oglethorpe’s examples on website
- See Carey Glass’s website for approach
- Think structure
- Think audience – academic [SFCT] and/or articles
- Include lessons learned – reflections – what went well – what could be better
- Get feedback as you go along – don’t wait until it’s all written up
- Write case study – how it satisfies me
- Share results with wider audience
- Identify customer – what’s most important for you to hear
- Approach editors for publication
- Think about co-authoring articles
- Gain permission from client to use organisation’s name
- Get support form SFCT members
Issue: How to get on the conference circuit
- Think local – what’s going on in your area
- Contact Skills for health / Skills for care
- Include ‘public speaking’ on business card
- Asked Linkedin members about what conferences are coming up
- Look out for annual conferences now
- Offer to help at conferences in any capacity for free – even as a reserve
- Write articles
- Know your target audience
Our next CPD day is scheduled for Monday 21 March 2011 in London. We are also looking at ideas and suggestions for next year’s UK programme, which may well include telecalls at different times of day.
Join now – people joining before 31 December will receive the latest Nov 2011 InterAction journal as well as two journals next year, e-access to all the back issues, three CPD days and other activities – great value for €100. Join at http://www.asfct.org/join.php.
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Cheltenham GL50 2PL
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SF Negotiation, Central London, 30 June / 20 July 2010
Negotiation – it’s something most of us approach with some trepidation. After all, there can be a lot of money or an important relationship at stake.
Now you can apply the positive power of Solutions Focus to negotiations – confidently building results and relationships at the same time. We have found great benefits in all the everyday conversations of business and management as well as when clinching crucial deals.
Sometimes you can negotiate quickly. Sometimes you can get what you really want. And sometimes you know you’ve built a good solid working relationship. But how often can you get all three? Continue reading →
An event for everyone in the North East of England: sfwork’s Antoinette Oglethorpe will be leading an evening introduction to conflict coaching with her PARTNER model. The event is organised by the Association for Coaching, and is at the Newcastle Marriott Gosforth Park on Wednesday 26 May 2010, 6.30pm start. Click here for more details.
We had a great time this week at the third module of the SF Professional course. As always, the 10-strong group formed great bonds and working relationships as they supported each other by coaching, reflecting, sharing ideas and affirming. It always amazes me quite how much energy and strength develops when people use SF processes in a concerted way.
One of our activities in module 3 is to design and implement an SF evaluation of the programme. Continue reading →
Our latest FREE webinar is a one-hour introduction to SF, the SF community and the SF Professional course for coaches, consultants, leaders and managers. Space is limited – only 15 seats available. Mark McKergow himself will lead the session. More details of the Webinar are at http://www.sfwork.com/jsp/index.jsp?lnk=4f0. More details on the SF Professional training are at http://www.sfwork.com/jsp/index.jsp?lnk=440. Remember the Early Bird discount for this course runs until 30 March, so make sure you book by then for the best deal.
Reserve your Webinar seat now by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Webinar’ in the subject line. We will the send you the login details. You will need an internet computer AND a telephone to participate.