Positive Paranoia

In late August I spent two wonderful days in Copenhagen together with the Resonans crew and their guests from The Solutions Focus: Paul and Janine. Through working with Henrik from Resonans on a project in Sweden I had already experienced the wonders of some of the exercises described in the book “58 1/2 Ways to Improvise in Training: Improvisation Games and Activities for Workshops, Courses and Team Meetings”. I was so grateful for his gracious yes when I asked if I could come to the session.

During the two days we used tools in various combinations. We did JAM sessions (Just-A-Minute) and addressed coaching conundrums. The Walkabout Marketplace was an enriching encounter where we collectively gathered and shared knowledge on important topics. I liked the whole experience so much that I found myself longing for an opportunity to practice my newly acquired skills, so when Linnea asked me to do a one-day session with the Frisksport leadership teachers, I was more than happy to accept.

One rather fun exercise was a kind of competition where the task was to identify who was who from looking at pictures of people who have contributed a lot to the strength-based, solution-focused, self-organised, positive-oriented and constructivist community. I could barely recognise David Cooperrider and Marcus Buckingham, but my Resonans team partner Mikkel turned out to be well versed in this game and quickly spotted persons like Insoo Kim Berg (Brief Theraphy), Augusto Boal (Forum Theatre), Thiagi (Frame Games), Gregory Bateson (Change Language), Keith Johnstone (Improvising), Steve de Shazer (Brief Therapy), Martin Seligman (Positive Psychology) and Margaret Wheatly (Complexity).

Of course, the list can be made much longer than that. For example, I would like to include images of Anne Radford, the founder of the AI Practitioner and who brought AI to the UK, and Jane Magruder Watkins who was one of the early adopters and who has spread AI around the world through courses, books and projects.


Greg Williams said...

You mentioned Thiagi. He has a wonderful approach. He did a great presentation at the University of Maryland that is hosted on YouTube at:


Gregory R. Williams, Ed.D.
Assistant Professor
University of Maryland

Anonymous said...

You should also look into Jenifer Fox, MEd. She has written a great book on strengths development in children and young adults called Your Child's Strengths (Viking, 2008) forward by Buckingham. In it she makes the case and provides practicaltools for bringing strengths development into schools and family life. Her website is http://www.strengthsmovement.com

Lena M Holmberg said...

Thank you so much for these wonderful additions! It's nice to share experiences of truly great persons!


Paul Z Jackson said...

Thanks Lena, we really enjoyed those two days, and hope to be able to work with you again.
Paul Z Jackson