Incorporating Solution-Focused Techniques into the Federal Strategic Planning Process
Mortensen, James B.
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This study is a qualitative examination of the potential use of solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) techniques in the context of federally-mandated strategic planning. Facilitators with strategic planning experience were selected from a large government agency to receive training and provide their insights about the utility of SFBT in their work place. Study participants received a training class in which they were familiarized with SFBT. Prior to the training session, a survey instrument was administered to identify the facilitation approaches favored by the participants. A follow-up survey was administered to the participants immediately following the training. This questionnaire contained both closed- and open-ended items. One week after the training, a small group session was conducted to gather additional feedback from the participants. Results from the questionnaires and the small group session demonstrated that there was unanimous agreement that SFBT techniques would be useful in a federal strategic planning setting and that they would be likely to use the techniques themselves. The participants showed a strong preference for using the Miracle Question, though all of the techniques presented in training had support. When asked to match SFBT techniques with various planning phases, Action Descriptions was the selection most often made. Overall, participants described SFBT as being applicable in a number of work settings, specifically those that required delineation of work processes, outcomes and measures. Some concerns were noted regarding credibility of the model if therapeutic terms, such as "Miracle Question," were used with senior executives in the agency and there was some concern regarding the lack of a conflict-resolution model in the SFBT framework as presented. There was agreement that additional training would be useful before the participants implemented SFBT in their facilitation activities.
- Masters Theses