APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY (AI)
“The world we have made as a result of the level of thinking we have done thus far creates problems we cannot solve at the same level of thinking at which we created them.” -Albert Einstein
Appreciative Inquiry is a strength-based, values-based positive change approach that helps organizations make the leap from the deficit-based, problem solving paradigm. Through an organizational inquiry into what gives “life” to individuals and the organization, people learn and rediscover the passions and energy to make transformational change.
AI increases organizational capacity by helping its members reframe the language of negatives, alienation, and disconnection to language of positives, inclusiveness and connection. The positive energy emerging from the shift in language leads the organization to:
- improved bottom-line results
- better communication
- effective collaboration functionally and cross-functionally
- value the entire spectrum of diversity
- develop revolutionary partnerships internally and externally
Organizations and individuals engaging in appreciative inquiry will:
- Define: The topic of inquiry around issues of critical strategic relevance; the topics that will generate the greatest possibilities.
- Discover: The exploration for the best of “what is” and what is valued with a wide variety of stakeholders, including employees and external vendors and clients (if appropriate).
- Dream: Envisioning the future and what could be for the organization.
- Design: Creating provocative statements of possibility that are compelling and energizing enough to bring about unstoppable action toward the goals.
- Deliver: Using a variety of group processes, the participants determine “what will be” by drafting specific strategies or goals and communicating individual and team commitments to action.
AI is more than a process; it is a paradigm shift around the way we know and act as well as how we are personally and organizationally. AI raises the bar by bringing together a wide variety of stakeholders to capture the collective wisdom around what works best, to identify a positive future and create new alternatives for the future.
Applications for AI include visioning and strategy planning, leadership development, team development, change leadership, mergers and acquisitions, communication enhancement, marketing strategies, sales development, and performance evaluation.