The InterAction Collection

Developing Industrial Resilience

Jenny Clarke interviews Christophe Bourgon

Feb 27, 2021

Christophe Bourgon, Jenny Clarke

Introduced by John Brooker

Christophe is Head of Business Management Operations in Skyguide, an organisation that provides air navigation services (air traffic control) for Switzerland and adjacent parts of neighbouring countries. It has 1500 employees at 14 locations in Switzerland and guides some 1.2 million civil and military flights a year. It is part of a complex system of independent air traffic control organisations across Europe.

COVID 19 has impacted the industry heavily, and Christophe views Solution Focus as one way to help the industry adapt, to become more resilient. SF practitioners in the therapy and organisational contexts (e.g. Baeijaert and Stellamans, in their book, ‘Resilient People, Resilient Teams’) have written about how Solution Focus can increase personal and team resilience. This notion of using Solution Focus to develop ‘industrial resilience’ is interesting, as it takes into account a much broader system. As I listened, I reflected whether SF practitioners could use Christoph’s positive experience of SF’s use in Skyguide, to influence other air traffic control organisations.

Christophe uses Solution Focus within Skyguide to lead his team and create change and transformation in Skyguide. He uses SF to create a nurturing environment and to help people make their own decisions. He notices that It has changed his way of leading; he takes a broader perspective and moves faster, creating a snowball effect.

I like how he uses it to validate service levels to internal clients, e.g. asking ‘how has our service helped your customers’ value chain?'.

As well as the above, Christophe also uses SF in two positions valuable for an organisation where people experience stress as part of their role:

  • A coach in his role as a ‘person of trust’, someone who can listen to people when they need it
  • as an ombudsman to mediate conflicts.

As he says, you can summarise the Solution Focus approach in an A4 page, yet you can do so much with it.

Listen as Jenny explores with Christoph how he is using Solution Focus to help transform Skyguide, in an industry driven by regulations, compliance and safety.

Christophe Bourgon
InterAction Contributor
SFiO Contributor

Christophe draws on a two decades track records as Chief of Staff, Head of Business Management Operations and Director of International Sales in air navigation services, homeland security and telecommunications.

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.

John Brooker
John Brooker
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.