Paul Z Jackson Solutions Focus

139: Paul Z Jackson on Solutions Focus

Today, we’re exploring the transformative power of focusing on solutions, not problems, with the insightful Paul Z Jackson. From his early days as a comedy writer and improvisation teacher to becoming a pivotal figure in the world of applied improvisation, Paul’s journey is as fascinating as it is varied. His work, especially the acclaimed book ‘The Solutions Focus,’ co-authored with Mark McKergow, has been a beacon for many, including myself, since its first impact on me back in 2011.

Paul’s approach is simple yet revolutionary: Don’t fix what isn’t broken, find what works and do more of it, and if something doesn’t work, try something else. It’s about making positive changes by identifying and amplifying useful change, recognizing that detailed problem analysis often doesn’t lead to solutions. This mindset shift from a problem focus to a solutions focus can stir optimism, hope, and ambition, changing the way we tackle challenges in sports, business, and life.

In our discussion, Paul delves into how this approach applies across various contexts, from coaching athletes to enhancing team dynamics. He shares insights on how to help people improvise and adapt, drawing on his extensive background in comedy and improvisation. We also touch on the importance of recognizing the small changes that signal big progress and staying ‘solutions focused’ rather than ‘solutions forced.’

Paul’s work with the Applied Improvisation Network and The Improvisation Academy further underscores his belief in the power of improvisation as a skill for life and business, teaching us to make use of what’s there and to embrace the possibilities of the past, present, and future.

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