Using the Solution Focus Strategy Canvas
Aligning Collaborators Around the Future
Jan 30, 2022
Introduced by John Brooker
Adie Shariff and Alison Abington published a case study about the Solution Focused Strategy Canvassing in 2010 in InterAction. You can find the original article here: https://sfwork.com/resources/interaction/s6-Vol2-1-6.pdf
The paper describes the use of SF strategy canvassing as “a way to support managers to develop and implement a strategy in practical and pragmatic ways, so to align people at all levels in the organisation in a collective effort…”.
As the original authors say in their paper: “The types of problems that arise in making strategy happen are what can be termed as “wicked problems” characterised by inter-related extremes of uncertainty, risk, and social complexity (Rittel & Webber, 1973). They are problems that attract, like iron to a magnet, a problem focus and problem talk. The SF strategy canvas is one possible approach for breaking out of the problem orientation of strategy consulting and engendering, albeit in a packaged way, an SF orientation.”
In short, the SF Strategy Canvas provides an alternative to the traditional development of strategy and one which many people in organisations find helpful.
In this video, Rod Sherwin creates a great learning environment, in which he provides a helpful summary of the canvas and its benefits, which you can also download below. He elegantly facilitates a range of practitioners to share their experiences using the SF Canvas in different contexts. He also invites others in the audience to share what surprised them in the session, what they found valuable and how they might experiment with the canvas.
As someone who has used the canvas since first reading the article back in 2010, I was pleased to learn many new ideas on adapting it in different situations and organisations. It is such a versatile tool that you can use with one person or many, in any context at any level in an organisation.
If you want to learn how to use the Strategy Canvas, I suggest you read the original article and, next, spend a valuable hour watching this video. You might also like to read Jason Pascoe’s article: https://www.growthcoaching.com.au/resource/mind-the-gap/ . All this will likely take you 90 minutes. It will be time well spent.
Please find the slides Rod showed in this pdf.