SFiO
The InterAction Collection
OF SOLUTION FOCUS PRACTICE IN ORGANISATIONS · Vol XX - XXXX Edition

Solution Focus Philosophy and Experience from Japan

In conversation with Jenny Clarke and John Brooker

Sep 8, 2020

Yasuteru Aoki, John Brooker and Jenny Clarke

Introduction by John Brooker

Yasuteru Aoki has been involved with SF since he first acted as a translator for SF therapists, such as Scott D. Miller, Bill O’Hanlon, Andrew Turnell and many others and recognised that the principles involved could be used in organisations. He has gone on to promote SF in Japan through his training courses and through J-SOL conferences, that many SF practitioners globally, had the privilege to attend and learn from.

In this audio conversation, recorded with Jenny Clarke and John Brooker, Aoki-san talks about how SF helped develop a positive atmosphere in a division of Canon and other companies and how it works well in the atmosphere of mutual respect found in Japan – as SF helps develop respect not built on hierarchy.

He reflects on the need to use SF to nurture this non-hierarchical respect and harmony in organisations and society.

He and Jenny discuss the concept of mutuality, that SF helps people to collaborate and compromise, without feeling compromised.

Aoki assumes many people naturally have SF inside them, that it our job as practitioners to honour and respect this and make it noticeable. He calls this a Chain of Natural Positive Response which lifts a group beyond the individual to a point where, when the relationship is good, I don’t care if the solution comes from me or someone else in the group. He adds wryly that “SF is too simple, so people want to decorate it”.

After this very interesting philosophical discussion, Aoki explains how he has helped train people working in local government over ten years and gives excellent examples from diverse areas such as the fire service, tax collection and inter cultural services. Some self-organized study groups born out of those training courses are still continuing and even expanding.

Finally, he reflects with Jenny on his experience at Zacros, an organisation led by a President who is a great exponent of SF. He has been using SF for ten years, yet recognises that not everybody wants to adopt a solution focus.

The interview ends with a discussion on the danger of being solution forced (or perhaps SF forced) and how it may be enough for an organisation to have pockets of “SF Inside”

Audio File – Editor John Brooker

John Brooker
John Brooker
Co-President
SFiO Reviewed Practitioner
Editor of Interaction
Chapter Head
SFiO Contributor

John has over thirty years experience of leading people to collaborate effectively. He gained his leadership experience as a Senior Vice President in Visa International, working on international projects. Since 2004 he has used his leadership and Solution Focus expertise to enable people in multinational and national organisations to collaborate effectively. He is Co-President of Solution Focus in Organisations, an SFiO Reviewed Practitioner and has an MBA from The Open University in the UK.

Jenny Clarke
Jenny Clarke
SFiO Reviewed Practitioner
InterAction Contributor
SFiO Contributor

Jenny Clarke is the co-Director of the Centre for Solutions Focus at Work (sfwork). Following a long career in the energy industry she has spent the last 15 years as an independent facilitator and coach. She works with large organisations, groups and individuals adapting to change and as a personal coach to managers and directors. She loves travelling and has worked in both hemispheres and east and west of the Greenwich Meridian.

Yasuteru Aoki
Yasuteru Aoki
SFiO Reviewed Practitioner
SFiO Contributor

Yasuteru Aoki has been involved with SF since he first acted as a translator for SF therapists, such as Scott D. Miller, Bill O’Hanlon, Andrew Turnell and many others and recognised that the principles involved could be used in organisations. He has gone on to promote SF in Japan through his training courses and through J-SOL conferences, that many SF practitioners globally, had the privilege to attend and learn from.

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