Solution-focused problem solving

This is a page to explore solution-oriented approaches to problem solving.

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What is it?Edit

An invitation (through a series of questions) to identify what it would be like if a situation was solved, what would need to be different to get to that solution, and actions to take to get there.

By following an action-reflection cycle, one can then iterate towards a solution.

The problem with problem-focused approaches to problem-solving is that often the frameworks used to describe and define problems can interfere with envisaging and implementing solutions.

When to use it?Edit

Problem conditions which Swenson and Anstett (n.d.) suggest are particularly appropriate for a solution focused approach include:

  1. High complexity (elements, interconnections, or rate of change in elements or relationships)
  2. Recurrent problems (often indicates that first-order attempts at change have been unsuccessful)
  3. Problem escalation. (often indicates that first-order attempts at change have been unsuccessful)
  4. Inaction. (Stalemate due to lack of agreed definition, conclusion, or action to take. Can indicate being too tied to past frameworks or investments).

Suggested readingsEdit

See alsoEdit