Appreciative Inquiry

“Appreciative Inquiry” (AI) is a dynamic philosophy and methodology used to bring about transformational change within any organization.

The Appreciative Inquiry model is based on the assumption that the questions we ask will tend to focus our attention in a particular direction. Some other methods of assessing and evaluating a situation and then proposing solutions are based on a deficiency model, asking questions such as “What are the problems?”, “What’s wrong?” or “What needs to be fixed?”. Instead of asking “What’s the problem?”, Appreciative Inquiry takes an alternative approach. As a self defined “asset-based approach” it starts with the belief that every organisation, and every person in that organisation, has positive aspects that can be built upon. It asks questions like “What’s working well?”, “What’s good about what you are currently doing?”

AI has strong Change & Transition Management attributes to help people embrace the transformational change. These include high, widespread engagement including all affected stakeholders, the re-framing of weaknesses and threats into opportunities, creation of a shared vision, buy-in by stakeholders of something that they helped to co-create.

Affirmative Topic – what the organization wants achieve – strong, positive language turns the affirmative topic into a “Transformational Topic”.

  1. Discover – people interview each other via structured interviews, to discover the times when an organisation they were engaged with in was at its best. These stories are told as richly as possible.
  2. Dream – the dream phase is often run as a larger group conference where people are encouraged to envision their organization as if the peak moments discovered in the ‘discover’ phase were the norm rather than exceptional. This is done using highly visual and audio creativity by art, skits, songs or stories.
  3. Design – teams  are empowered to design ways of creating the organisation and processes dreamed of in the conference(s) through use of Open Space forums.
  4. Destiny – the final phase is to implement the changes.

You can use Appreciative Inquiry to TRANSFORM your organization in many ways:

  • AI Summits – the default methodology engaging employees and stakeholders across the organization.
  • Strategic Planning – using the affirmative language SOAR methodology.
  • Process Improvements – why make a mediocre process more efficient when you can start with best in class innovation? Appreciative Inquiry combined with Business Process Re-engineering creates blazing innovation. For more information click here.
  • Project Implementation – utilize AI’s strong Change & Transition Management attributes by by engaging your stakeholders and make them a part of the design and implementation.
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