The InterAction Collection

The SF Art Gallery

A Metaphor for the SF OD Process

Sep 1, 2023

Mark McKergow,Chris Iveson & Susanne Burgstaller

In a VUCA world, organisations are challenged to significantly increase their pace of change.

To bring about profound transformations in organisations, leaders and coaches need to apply state-of-the-art “social technologies”. Solution Focus provides such an effective “social technology”. Leaders and coaches must apply state-of-the-art “social technologies” to effect profound organisational transformations. Solution Focus (SF)provides such an effective “social technology”.

What do solution focused change coaches and leaders need to do to reap these benefits and trigger a profound transformation? They may allow themselves to be guided by the Solution Focused OD process, which is vividly illustrated in this contribution by using the metaphor of the “Solution Focused gallery walk”.

Chris Iveson of the leading BRIEF Institute, based in London, England, introduced the metaphor of the “art gallery” in 1999 as an orientation for solution-focused conversations. It was taken up by other SF practitioners, most cogently by Mark McKergow in 2021. He uses the ‘art gallery’ metaphor for the solution-focused transformational dialogue within an organisation.

In this workshop, you will:

  • Hear from Chris Iveson about what prompted him to invent this metaphor to describe and teach the SF process of change.

  • Learn from Mark McKergow how he elaborated the art gallery in his book “The Next Generation of Solution Focused Practice”.

  • Explore together with Susanne Burgstaller how the “SF Art Gallery” can provide orientation for the SF OD process.

  • Visit the areas of the gallery and address the following questions:

    • Foundation: What assumptions do SF change leaders hold about organisations, change and people?
    • At the Ticket Office: How is a “joint project”, i.e. the intention and purpose of the transformation, effectively formulated?
    • In the Resource Room: When and how do we gather resources, building blocks of the preferred future, and signs of progress?
    • In the Future Gallery: How do change leaders elicit details about the Preferred Future from many different stakeholders?
    • In the Progress Gallery: How best to make progress visible, reinforce positive outcomes, and keep change in motion?
    • In the Gift Shop: The secret to how change leaders finish (most of) their work without finishing the transformation!

Format: Workshop/Practitioner Report Level: Introductory and Intermediate/Advance

PDF Presentation & Chris Iveson’s article

Listen to an audio recording on Soundcloud

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Mark McKergow
Mark McKergow
SFiO Director
SFiO Reviewed Practitioner
InterAction Contributor
SFiO Contributor

Dr Mark McKergow is co-director of sfwork – The Centre for Solutions Focus at Work, based in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is an international consultant, speaker and author. Many people around the world have been inspired by his work in Solutions Focus – presented wth his inimitable blend of scientific rigour and performance pizzazz.

Chris Iveson
Chris Iveson
InterAction Contributor

Chris Iveson worked as family therapist and social worker before he co-founded – together with Evan George and Harvey Ratner - the BRIEF therapy practice in London.

Susanne Burgstaller
Susanne Burgstaller
InterAction Contributor
SFiO Contributor

I have been leading and coaching organisations for more than 30 years. Adopting the Solution Focused approach to my work has been transformative, amplifying my impact and work satisfaction way beyond what I thought was possible.