Sharing and building Solution Focused practice in organisations
The SOLWorld charter sets out our guiding principles. The strap line is "Sharing and Building Solutions Focused practice in organisations". For us, sharing is the key word. The organisation works along clear and rather unusual principles, which do seem to work in practice for us - with over ten international events so far I think we can feel quite proud.
Here are the key principles:
* There are no members of SolWorld. You can't join it, you can only join in with it.
* There are no subscriptions and no need to spend a lot of time with member databases and chasing members for the next subscription. (I know one organisation which has since collapsed, which charged £40 a year to join and spent about £35 per member on office administration, mostly chasing the subs.)
As there is no membership fee, there is no sense of "What do I get for my money?" It's up to people to act to benefit from their involvement.
* There is no bank account, and no need for a bank account. And since there is no bank account and no members, there is no need for an annual report about what happened to the (non-existent) money, or for accountants and auditors. This is all very minimal, in keeping with SF ideas.
The listserv and website are paid for by a levy paid by the organisers of the International Conference. This levy is set at a level to just recover the costs associated with the listserv and website, typically around $5 - €5 per conference participant.
* There are no officers of SolWorld; no President, Secretary etc. There is a Steering Group, whose members are all volunteers.
* Anyone who wants to be on the Steering Group can be on it. The role of Steering Group members is to add their names and reputation to SOL events; to be involved in building the profile of SolWorld; to be involved in the policy development, planning and quality management of future events; to come to the international SolWorld conferences as a participant (and possibly as a presenter) to share, learn and participate; to be involved in planning and executing specific aspects of future conferences. The duties are not onerous and in return, members names and contact details are listed on the website.
* SolWorld events are organised by individuals or groups, NOT by the Steering Group. The organisers decide on the event they want to run, and then run it to the best of their ability, drawing on the experience of the other Steering Group members. Anyone can put on a SOL event as long as it has the support of the Steering Group.
The organisers risk their own money in putting the event on, and can decide what to do with any profit including keeping it. There have been examples (after Interlaken 2005) of profits being passed on, perhaps to support bursaries for participants from developing countries or other good works. This is at the discretion of the organisers who earned the money in the first place.
There can therefore be no question of people moaning about what the group is or is not doing anyone can join the Steering Group and voice their views, or come to the public meeting at the international conference each year.
I think there is a great power in these arrangements. It puts the responsibility on all of us to make things happen and to keep making things happen directly and indirectly. If no-one wants anything to happen, then nothing will happen.
Writing in 2008
Last updated by Mark McKergow Dec 25, 2009.