“Water the flowers and not the weeds” sums up the key message of Mark McKergow the Co-author of the book “The Solutions Focus”. Typically when faced with an issue we focus on the Problem and try to fix it. “The Solutions Focus” takes a different approach. Step over what is wrong and focus on what is working and build on it with small steps.
This blog by Mark McKergow sums up the approach very well. Solutions Focus: How to change everything by changing as little as possible. http://www.sfwork.com/jsp/index.jsp?lnk=6d7
In Physics or when dealing with Mechanical objects like Cars, The opposite of broken is fixed, and if you know broken you can derive fixed from that. However when it comes to people, interactions and societies, what is wrong is not the opposite of what is wanted, and what is working.
Also came across this really nice interview with Mark McKergow,
Here are some things I liked from this interview:
Once you get people assembling around what they want and do something about, you do not have motivational issues. Starting with small steps makes it easy for people to start doing things.
Big initiative thing is overrated.
Focus on Strengths.
Do not need diagnosing and fixing, as in cars for organisations what is needed is encouraging and emerging.
Leader as a Host: Typically the archetype of the leader is that of a Hero the one who saves the day. Instead Mark McKergow proposes another archetype for a Leader, that of a Host. “Defining what needs to be happening. Engaging people, make sure they have what they need etc. Good hosts do stepping forward and backward at the right times.”
Traditional approach to change is “Unfreeze from the current state” and then freeze again to the desired new change. However change is a constant so you cannot freeze and unfreeze, what you need is “Find useful change and amplify it.”
Here is the book by the same name