Episode #3: Interview with Philipp Erb, Responsible for the Swisscom Facilitator Community – Swisscom

Solution Focus live “Conversations with Leaders” – Episode #3

Interview: Dominik Godat with Philipp Erb | Intro & Outro: Elfie Czerny |Music: www.bensound.com

Solution Focus (SF) changed his perspective on leadership and his way of talking to his employees completely.  On today’s show we were curious how Philipp Erb made his transition from traditional leadership with 14 direct reports to a passionate Solution Focused leader responsible for 210 employees that foster change at Swisscom. And we got fantastic answers that can make all the difference for you! Get to know Philipp’s passion and the differences SF has made in his daily leadership life. Learn more about his coffee meetings with his employees, how he shifts the focus to what works and how he appreciates even the smallest steps. 

Episode #3: Interview with Philipp Erb, Responsible for the Swisscom Facilitator Community - Swisscom

by Elfie Czerny & Dominik Godat | Solution Focus live "Conversations with Leaders" | 47:39

When we see each other I always say let’s go and take a coffee when I see they are on the negative side. And then on the way to get the coffee, I tell them ‘Hey, think over: What worked well?’.”

“Walk the talk is very important. […] it’s very important that they see that I’m also doing everything in this way.“

I see them as experts, because that’s important. […] And they find it very interesting that I ask them how they want to do it and not telling them how to do it. And they always find that’s the big difference between their boss that is in the line management and what I’m doing with them.“

“In the old world you only gave appreciation to a task when it was finished and it was well done. Today when you talk to these people you already give them appreciation when they have small steps. And that helps them afterwards, motivates them that they can get the bigger steps done, too.”

Philipp Erb

Responsible for the Swisscom Facilitator Community, Swisscom

In this episode Dominik and Philipp explore:

  • how Solution Focus helps Philipp in his dynamic business environment.
  • how his employees react when he asks them questions instead of giving them advice or telling them what to do.
  • the role of appreciation in Philipps work since he uses the SF appraoch.
  • where and how Philipp uses scaling in his leadership function.
  • how he leads 210 people directly.
  • how he shifts the focus of his employees to what works.
  • how appreciation and focusing on what works allows new solutions to arise.
  • what Philipp does when he says he „walks the talk“.
  • how he talks about questions so that his employees grab what SF is about whithout teaching them SF.
  • how he uses the potential of his team and shows them with this how they can use the potential of the teams they work with as facilitators.
  • what is different for Philipp since he’s been applying the SF approach in his leadership function.
  • how he deals with people who don’t want to answer questions or just want an answer from him.
  • how he responds to answers he „doesn’t like“.
  • how SF helps an organization to get more towards a self-organized company.
  • how SF leadership builds up trust and what positive effects emerge out of that.
  • what challenges Philipp is facing right now.
  • how he deals with people who are not (yet) SF.
  • how he deals with the challenge of not giving advice to people.
  • the importance of reflection for himself and reflection with other people in intervision groups.
  • what was helpful for Philipp in making the transition from traditional leadership to SF leadership.
  • three things Philipp would tell SF beginners that could benefit them.



Here you find the resources mentioned in this episode:


Join the conversation

Let’s go to where the real magic happens: YOUR life!

Friendpower is stronger than willpower. So, let’s inspire each other! Share your ideas and thoughts on the following questions in the comments section below:

Listening to this conversation:

  1. What inspired you most?
  2. Who might notice that (think of one concrete person)? What might this person see you doing?

Share as much detail as possible. Your story might be the one making a vital difference for someone else. Your thoughts and ideas matter and might encourage others to keep on going their SF journey.

If you have friends, clients or colleagues who you think might be inspired by this interview, share this podcast episode. It could give them some practical ideas on how to apply Solution Focus in their daily work and life.

Thank you!

Thank you for listening to our podcast. You are awesome! That you listen to our podcast makes a huge difference for us. Please let us know and get in touch with us: Comment below or send us a message and tell us what difference our podcast series makes for you.


  1. Yasuteru Aoki

    I haven’t listened to it yet, but reading some of Mr. Erb’s comment is enough to impress me how a manager can imbibe the essence of SF in the commercial world!

    • SF on Tour mit Elfie Czerny & Dominik Godat

      Thank you dear Aoki-san! Yes, it’s impressive how Philipp Erb does it. It reminded me on stories from your great work with organizsations – sf inside – in Japan.

  2. Felix Hirschburger

    Great discussion! Very interesting and actually obvious idea that SF is a great pathway for companies changing from traditional organisations into more self organised / holacracy / agile ones. What a potential!


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