Mark McKergow, Ph.D., MBA
Director, sfwork – The Centre for Solutions Focus at Work 20 Atholl Crescent, Edinburgh EH3 8HQ, Scotland, UK
Dr Mark McKergow is an international consultant, speaker and author. Many people around the world have been inspired by his work in Solutions Focus – presented with his inimitable blend of scientific rigour and performance pizzazz. He is a world pioneer in applying the pragmatic and minimal philosophy of Solutions Focus (SF) to the organisational world, and has created a global community of practitioners sharing and developing new applications; Mark has pioneered the exploration and use of the Host Leadership metaphor and model, with two books and many blogs.
With his partner Jenny Clarke, Mark edits and publishes books about SF in organisations, and is engaged in building links between SF and other post-structural approaches and academia. His strengths in taking a wide perspective, learning rapidly, communicating, facilitating and combining a gentle touch with timely incisiveness lead to excellent results on time. Mark was director of the HESIAN research hub at the University of Hertfordshire 2014-2017, edited the peer-reviewed journal InterAction from 2009-2016, and is an associate of the Taos Institute, USA. Mark has been described as “liking ideas and approaches that make things simpler, quicker, cheaper and more respectful – particularly when they are based on something counter-intuitive and game-changing”. In 2020 Mark founded the Village In The City project to support people wishing (like himself) to create better micro-local communities as a post-pandemic initiative. The project has communities in North and South America and Europe as well as across the UK.
Mark founded sfwork with Jenny Clarke in 2006. He has specialised in working with Solution Focus, accelerated learning, management development and change as an independent consultant since 1992, and has completed over 100 consulting projects to date. Recent highlights include:
- Gaining a position as a thought leader across the SF world, respected by therapists, coaches and consultants alike
- Leading the development of the Galveston Declaration – a manifesto of values shared by narrative, collaborative, solution-focused and social constructionist approaches
- Leading online SF Business Professional courses with the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee since 2011
- Leading the six-strong sfwork team in a series of consulting, facilitation and strategy projects with clients ranging from NHS trusts to semiconductor manufacturers to TATE.
- Establishing SFCT, a new professional body for Solution-Focused consultants and trainers, with international colleagues in 2008.
- Editing the SFCT journal InterAction and using it to draw in established academics, authors and practitioners from a range of fields over sixteen issues 2009-2016.
- Gaining a position as a visiting research fellow at the University of Hertfordshire Dept of Philosophy from 2011-2017, where he is investigating the philosophy of SF as an embodied, narrative and enactive process.
- Establishing the HESIAN (Hertfordshire Enactive Solution-Focused Interactional and Narrative) research hub at the University of Hertfordshire (http://herts.ac.uk/hesian) and leading it from 2014-2017
- Running SF seminars and speaking at conferences across Europe, the USA and Canada and the Far East since 2002.
- Being elected a member of Jack Canfield’s Transformational Leadership Council in 2006 – one of only two UK members.
- Being at the heart of the international SOLWorld community of SF practitioners since 2002, running the first two conferences and attending every event to date (the group has mounted fifteen international conferences, summers schools, retreats, six Japanese conferences, central Europe conferences and a North American event to date).
- Writing the best-selling business book ‘The Solutions Focus – Making coaching and change SIMPLE (with Paul Z Jackson), declared one of the Top 30 Business Books of 2002 in the USA and now in a second edition in 8 languages including Chinese and Japanese.
- Writing two further books and countless articles on SF and organisational change. Mark runs SolutionsBooks, a small publishing imprint for books on SF and management.
- Developing new ideas on leadership, hosting and hospitality leading to an acclaimed peer-reviewed paper – see www.hostleadership.com – and publishing the first book on the topic ‘Host: Six new roles of engagement for teams, organisations, communities and movements’ in The Host Leadership Field Book was published in 2019.
- Being part of a select roster of coaches for TED Fellows – brilliant young people selected by the TED organisation.