Solution-focused Practice

Solution-focused is a powerful and strengths-based approach to creating conversations of possibility and hope and to facilitate change.

The focus of attention is on solution building (instead of problem fixing) and collaborating with people – whatever the context – to construct their preferred future.

By focusing on what’s working and progress already made, amplifying strengths and resourcefulness, and believing in the competence and potential of the person, we  facilitate the conditions for them to work out their own answers and identify their way forward.

The power of this approach has long been evidenced in helping services, community work and schools, in staff / human resource management, coaching and supervision, and organisational development.

The ideas, values and skills of the solution-focused mindset and practice are helpful to anyone who works with people to facilitate change.

Zebra’s Background in Solution-focused Work

The Zebra Collective is a solution-focused organisation: this approach runs through everything we do and is, for example, reflected in how we design and deliver all our training, reflective learning, facilitation, consultancy and community work.

Since our beginnings in 2003, we have delivered solution-focused training for organisations in the community & voluntary sectors and in the statutory sector and now typically work alongside organisations on medium / long-term change management programme towards a solution-focused practice and culture.

For further information about Zebra’s work and social justice approach to solution-focused practice see the article by Marc Gardiner of the Zebra Collective and leading solution-focused practitioner, Guy Shennan  about using solution-focused practice in pursuit of social change: published in the international journal of Critical and Radical Social Work.

Zebra Solution-focused Offer

See examples of our current offer below and contact us at for further details. We have tended to work across the South West and nationally, and in times of permissable travel movement are happy to travel anywhere to meet clients’ needs. Since 2021, much of our work has been online.

Solution-focused Approach 3-Day Course

We regularly offer open 3-day Solution-focused training courses – see our upcoming events section. We are also regularly commissioned by organisations to deliver this course in-house.

Solution-focused Practice Groups

We run regular CPD events for solution-focused practitioners and there are now 4 groups (Cornwall, Devon, Plymouth and Torbay) which bring together people committed to working in a solution-focused way, to promote professional development and build networks. You can find out more about these groups in our upcoming events section.

Since summer 2020, we have merged these groups into the single South-West SF Practice Group, online. And we are now collaborating with Guy Shennan Associates running a no-boundaries SFPractice Group online called jSFPG.

Tailored Training and Reflective Learning

Bringing a solution-focused approach to your workplace and wherever change and development is required.

Management and Supervision Service

Tailored to organisations’ / employees’ requirements, including:

  • our long-established external supervision service, which ranges from one-off sessions through to ongoing supervisory relationships
  • supervision and line management training using a solution-focused approach
  • Solution-focused management development training.

Coaching Services

For individuals and organisations.

Consultancy Services

For example, working, alongside organisations to develop solution-focused and strengths-based culture change.

Sessional Project Work

  • schools (e.g. students struggling in the classroom)
  • mental health
  • learning disabilities
  • homeless services
  • housing support
  • neighbour disputes
  • alcohol & drug services
  • children & youth work
  • social care referrals

Solution-focused Conferences

We have hosted 3 Solution-focused conferences which have successfully brought solution-focused practitioners from a wide and diverse range of backgrounds in the South West to be inspired and further develop their practice.

For enquiries or further details please email