25 Focus on What Works to Facilitate Transformation

YES! AND… Facilitate. Innovate. Transform – Creative Gorilla # 25

If you have people  focus on strengths you can help them to achieve more.

I’m so proud of you”

“What have you done today, to make you feel proud?”

M People, Lyrics

Has anyone ever said they were proud to be on your team?

After an evening’s speaking engagement, I rose at 4.30 a.m to drive from my hotel back to home, for my 7 year old son’s class assembly. It was worth the early rise.

Each child stood in front of the school and parents to say what it was that had made them proud during their year at school. Their teacher had made a great PowerPoint presentation, with a slide recording each child’s contribution, to aid their memory and help the audience when a small voice occasionally faded.

In addition, the children sang “Proud” and performed a choreographed song and dance to “Reach for the Stars”. It was a pleasure to listen and watch. Two inspiring moments were:

  • The child who haltingly and confidently read from the screen how proud they were to have improved their reading skills
  • The child who loudly and clearly related how proud they were to have improved their speech

A few of the adults were wiping their eyes by the end.

I reflected on the event afterwards, delighted to know the school are developing in the children a sense of pride in their achievement. It was also a useful reminder of how important it is to focus on the positive things that are happening, not just the negatives.

In “The Solutions Focus” (a great read by Paul Z Jackson and Mark McKergow) the authors call these positive aspects “Counters”. Counters are present in all organisations, even if you appear to be drowning in problems.

Some of the counters they include when tackling challenges are:

  • Examples of the solution happening already
  • Evidence of part of the solution happening
  • Skills and resources to help create the solution

They conclude: Seeing “everything as a useful gift” is a resourceful attitude that helps you to remain contructive and resilient, so that you can keep others contructive and resilient in their search for solutions.”


Are you encouraging your people to look for the “counters” in any situation or are you just focussing on the problems? Are you instilling a sense of pride in their achievements? This can help you achieve your goals.


At your next meeting, have each person in your team identify and relate at least one positive action or one piece of progress that SOMEONE ELSE has taken during the last week or month.

Encourage and challenge them to look for other people being positive and doing positive things in the following period. Sense how this can help to build a positive atmosphere in your organisation.

To Close

The class teacher sat cross legged on the floor and sang cheerfully along with the children, a huge smile of encouragement on her face. Then a child stood and told us how proud they were to be in her class.

That statement provoked the thought:

What would it be like if one of your team stood in front of a large group of your peers and said “I’m proud to be on your team”? Or if you told your team you’re proud of them?

Imagine it now. The sound, the smiles on their faces, the feelings you and they have. Is that good?

As an outcome for a creative leader (and a creative team) could you get much better?

If you work at being a creative leader it may happen for you. May it happen soon.


John Brooker I Facilitate, Innovate, Transform.

Yes! And… We facilitate leaders and teams in medium to large organisations internationally to:

  • Make Meetings Outstanding
  • Make Transformation Simpler
  • Turn Opportunities in to Reality

Imagine what we can do for you…

Contact John or Kate Brooker:

Speak: +44 (0) 20 8869 9990

Write: [email protected]

Read: www.yesand.eu