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The Solutions Focus - 2nd Edition

Making coaching & change SIMPLE

By Paul Z Jackson and Mark McKergow

The Solutions Focus 2nd Edition

English language edition

Buy now from Amazon UK

Italian language edition

Buy now from Amazon UK

English language edition

Buy now from Amazon USA

This is a new and updated edition of this acclaimed first business book on the powerful, simple yet subtle approach to positive change in people, teams and organisations. Used around the world by a wide range of people, professions and organisations, it has now sold over 20,000 copies and been translated into 11 languages.

The second edition includes new chapters reflecting the increasing importance of coaching and the solutions focus movement in the business environment, this wide-ranging book is filled with all the most important ideas, case examples and practical tips for managers, facilitators and consultants.

When you need to discover what works at work, The Solutions Focus offers a powerful yet subtle way to positive change.

Radically pragmatic, this 'theory of no theory' goes to the heart of what works for people, teams and organisations - delivering both an engagingly accessible process and results that participants really want.

Proven in many fields and with a distinguished intellectual heritage, The Solutions Focus provides a simple and direct route to progress in your organisation.

Foreign language editions include:

Japanese: 組織の成果に直結する問題解決法ソリューションフォーカス

Swedish: Lösningsfokuserat Ledarskap

Italian: Punta Alla Soluzione

Lithuanian: Susitelkimas á sprendimus

Dutch: Oplossingsgericht denken

Chinese (simplified characters): 跳過問題,直接做對

Korean: 성공한 CEO는 단순하게 해결한다

"Just applying and reapplying the messages and learning from Mark and Paul Z's book The Solutions Focus has helped me to live my life "on purpose" and have phenomenal success (both financial and emotional) ever since I first got my hands on a copy."
Emma Langman, Atkins International

"This book is both culture changing and life changing. The thinking that Mark and Paul present is in their own words 'SIMPLE'. And it is what they claim it to be but it is also profound. If we can learn to adopt this solutions focussed way of approaching everyday situations we will transform our work and our lives in elegant and powerful ways. The book is packed with thought provoking case studies. I love it."
Sue Knight, author, NLP At Work

"A focus on solution construction is the core of great coaching. This is a beautifully-crafted, elegantly-simple approach to applying the power of solutions to organisations - a must-read for coaches and consultants looking for truly effective tools."
Anthony M Grant Director, Coaching Psychology Unit, School of Psychology, University of Sydney, Australia

"I can think of no better introduction to solution-focused principles may be applied in organizations than The Solutions Focus: The SIMPLE Way to Positive Change. This book is written for managers and others who grapple with the practical and often complex problems of life in organizations. Paul Z. Jackson and Mark McKergow have written a very readable book that draws upon their own practical experiences in turning complex problems into simple solutions that work. The book is filled with clear and useful examples of solution-building in business and industry, including examples of how solutions are built in solution-focused coaching and in teams. This is the sort of book that managers and administrators will keep close at hand, regularly consulting it in dealing with the many challenges that face them. I recommend The Solutions Focus to anyone who is interested in fostering positive organizational change."
Gale Miller, Professor and Chairperson, Department of Social and Cultural Sciences, Marquette University and consulting partner Solutions Behavioral Health Group.

"Paul Jackson and Mark McKergow effectively captured a sweet new way to solve problems in complex systems of human interaction. Their clearly articulated and easily practiced Solutions Focus will assist individuals within the chaos of business organizations to pare problems down to size. Even the most recalcitrant difficulties will be moved from "platform" to "future perfect." This entertaining newcomer to the business professional's library makes interesting reading for anyone who fancies being part of the solution instead of part of the problem. Because the ideas contained in it are so immediately transferable to everyday issues (both small and large), the book becomes it own natural reinforcer, encouraging the reader to greater know-how and success with each chapter."
Paul R. Scheele, Chairman, Learning Strategies Corporation, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Author, Natural Brilliance: Moving from Feeling Stuck to Achieving Success

The trouble with traditional approaches to people problems is that they assume a straightforward relationship between cause and effect, between a problem and its solution. So conventional wisdom too often wastes your time and resources by trapping you with the problem, giving you precious little of the solution.

Now there is a revolutionary yet practical alternative - the SIMPLE way of working that allows bespoke solutions to be invented each time, according to what actually fits the organisation. A solution-focused approach sidesteps the search for the causes of trouble and heads straight for the solution, showing you how to envisage your desired future and move swiftly towards it.

The Solutions Focus is the first book to introduce to the organisational and business world this tried and tested set of ideas, skills and techniques from other people-centred professions.

"More than 15 years ago, I picked up a copy of Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury and was immediately excited by their ideas and the thought of applying these concepts in the field. I felt the same attraction and enthusiasm while reading The Solutions Focus last month. The logic and ethics of the approach are refreshing and, unfortunately all too rare in the corporate world where I do most of my work. It makes so much sense to identify and work with what works."
Nancy Caldwell, consultant, USA

It takes you beyond outmoded ideas, replacing over-complicated theories and methods with a dynamic, intensely practical approach that provides the positive outcomes that organisations crave, along with fresh learning every time.

The authors show you how to identify what is working in your team or organisation and amplify it to make useful changes; to focus on what is possible rather than what is intractable and how to be solution focused, not solution forced.

While the method and scope are wide-ranging and comprehensive, the basic principles are simple:

  • identify what works and do more of it
  • stop doing what doesn't work and do something different.


Inside, you'll find all the most important ideas, case examples and practical tips for managers, facilitators and consultants; in short, an in-depth guide to transforming how you approach and deliver change.

The Solutions Focus takes a systems-based view of the world, where loops and feedback effects drive complex phenomena. It draws from the work of pioneering US therapist Milton Erickson and has developed in parallel with NLP and the new science of complexity.

"Before I saw this eminently useful and inspiring book for solution focused work in organisational contexts I´d not have believed that there are sometimes even easier approaches than those already developed by the Milwaukee practitioners. Although "simple" doesn´t mean "easy", Jackson and McKergow manage to provide a usable approach for everybody doing practical work in and with organisations. And they don´t lose the subtlety of the solution-focused approach, but enrich it with a fundus of new didactical and methodological tools. This book is a pleasure to read, full of useful research and results."
Matthias Varga von Kibéd, University of Munich Institute for Philosophy, Logic and Epistemology, SySt Institute for Systemic Training and Research

I've been reading your Solutions Focus book and I've really enjoyed it and found it extremely useful. I think both Paul Jackson and yourself have done an excellent job. I know that my copy will probably become well worn as I read and refer to it many times and show it to other people too! (there's no way I'm lending it to anyone though :-). I'm a Executive coach and team facilitator and have already recommended it to over a dozen people! I like because it's easy to read, pragmatic, well laid out, and elegantly simple. The approach is nicely uncomplicated, the SIMPLE structure and mnemonic helps to think positively about the problem. I also loved the diagram that visually takes you through the steps that will get you to go from the problem to the future perfect.
Barbara Adamson, Executive Coach, Loxwood Interactive Ltd

"This book is uplifting, practical and a must for any one who wishes to look forward with a sense of energy and possibility. It skilfully builds on existing theories and practice to provide a framework for action which offers real hope for discovering solutions instead of endless analysis of problems."
Christine Garner, Director, Industrial Society Learning and Development


The Solutions Focus was declared 'One of the Top 30 Business Books of 2002' by Soundview Executive Book Summaries in the USA. For purchasing information on their summary, click here.