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rutenso: the art of thriving in times of constant change


Everyone knows that working in a Solutions Focus way involves focusing on solutions, right? That's the part that everyone gets. Focus on the solution, not on the problem. Well, that's right, of course. And... there is so much more to SF than this. I have been thinking about how to convey all the other wonderful elements of what makes SF so different, and so effective in situations where other approaches don't seem to gain traction. So, here is my latest thinking on this - rutenso.

rutenso comes from the Japanese word ruten, which means "constant and ceaseless change". It seems that the Japanese have many different words for different kinds of change (the same is said of Eskimos and snow). Perhaps it's connected with an Eastern way of looking at things - witness the amazing responses of the people of Japan to the tsunami disaster. There is definitely a way of accepting and responding which has been shown to the upset and confusion created by the huge wave of water, with thousands dead and millions affected.

So, ruten means constant change. When the suffix "-so" is added, this means "phases of" or more poetically "working with". So ruten-so is about working with constant change. Those who have heard me speak about SF will know that I always start my talks with the one-line definition of SF: "Change is happening all the time: therefore the simple way is to find USEFUL change and amplify it".

rutenso can be written as three kanji characters, as in the picture on the right. The same character set is used for Chinese too. In Chinese, these three characters mean "flow-turn-image". It also has overtones of good fortune through change.

rutenso is a new word, and I will be writing about it over the coming weeks and months. I hope to show how the idea of working with constant change gives a great framework to think about SF practice in a much wider way that focusing on solutions - to give a name and some substance to the "SF paradigm", the framework of thinking, that SF brings.

Read more about rutenso:

Rutenso 1: The art of thriving in times of constant change http://wp.me/pqSML-3S
Rutenso 2: The great power of tiny signs http://wp.me/pqSML-4O

Rutenso 3: SF and Kaizen - why small steps are not all equal http://wp.me/pqSML-5m

Rutenso 4: Seven ways of thriving in times of constant change (on the Synthesis website) http://www.synthesisips.net/blog/runtenso-the-art-of-working-with-complex-systems/

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