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Sharing and building Solution Focused practice in organisations

The title can be read in two ways. Information Technology works and yes, SF management is paying out. Turnover and profit climbed to an alltime high! Crisis, what crisis.
My november blog described the introduction proces of SF management both as management style and as concept for our businessplan 2009.

It was exciting to see that each manager was so proud of his stunningly "simple" SF based plans for 2009. Especially the first rule of SF: if something does not work (anymore) stop it and do something else.... triggered immediate actions. So instead of waiting for 2009 we started the implementation of this idea the next day.

Aware of the fact that this was only a small first step I deliberatly let it happen. One of the examles is our business unit Growth Management. We are the world's leading innovator in greenhouse control systems. We develop software and hardware and sell it as a complete solution through an international distributor chain. The service and marketing operation is supported through our subsidiaries in France, Spain, United Kingdom, Poland, USA and Canada. Besides control systems we also develop and market numerous products in the perifery of our core product such as labour control equipment, dozens of different sensors, weather stations etc. etc. Total turnover of this business unit is approx. € 12 million.
The BU manager formed a small multidisciplenary team, we gave them a basic three hour SF course and from there it took off. Within two weeks we identified the profitability per product, validated current and expected turnover and checked it again on strategic importance today and in the foreseeable future.

The result?
We closed three subsidiaries, the distributors that they helped set up and trained were very mature and selfsupporting and can now easily stand on there own feet. Less costs, proud distributors and the same turnover.
We discontinued seven out of twelve productlines, not profitable enough, no real strategic value and often added to our portfolio as an occuring opportunity. We redirected our customers to our distribution partners who happily took over the supply and service. Turnover decreased moderately, but overall profitability increased significantly :) ! The action was completed in three months at the same time improving the focus of R&D and sales and marketing.

Just one small example of the results. There is more to tell but definitely more to do. We are currently executing and fine tuning the plan and introduce SF management as a tool. The manager has started his first coaching sessions following the 7 steps method and I am coaching and helping the manager.

A first step, many to follow. Simple? yes, easy? definitely not.
Keep you posted, untill then,
Martin van Gogh

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Comment by Hans-Peter Korn on January 26, 2009 at 20:22
GREAT how it works!!! Congratulations!!!!!

Short question: What the hell have to told them in the "basic three hour SF course"?

Maybe you can merge with Anton's "Intensive Training in Solution Focus for Managers" ... and this intensive training then could be cut down from 14 day to only half an day... ;-)

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