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ADR Brown Bag June 3, 2008


Two days of capacity building aboard the. 105 three-masted traditional. Schooner Alliance ... The experience of the person being interviewed? ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: ADR Brown Bag June 3, 2008

ADR Brown BagJune 3, 2008
  • Appreciative
  • Inquiry for the
  • Federal Workplace
  • Merri L. Hanson, M.A.
  • Peninsula Mediation ADR

Welcome and Overview
  • Section 1

Merri L. Hanson, M.A.
  • Merri L. Hanson is Director of Peninsula
    Mediation ADR, a full service ADR firm location
    in Williamsburg, Virginia. Peninsula Mediation
    ADR provides a broad range of mediation,
    facilitation, and ADR training services
    throughout the United States for federal agencies
    including the Department of Navy, Department of
    Homeland Security, Department of Transportation,
    NASA, U. S. Air Force, Department of Justice,
    Department of Energy, and USDA.
  • What Merri likes best about her work
  • I am the one of the fortunate few who really
    love their work. Each day is a new opportunity
    for creativity and growth. I am privileged to
    have been allowed the opportunity to make a
    constructive difference in so many lives.

Most Memorable Appreciative Inquiry Summit
  • Appreciative Inquiry Summit for the U. S. Air
    Force (Langley Air Force Base, Personnel
  • Two days of capacity building aboard the
  • 105 three-masted traditional
  • Schooner Alliance

  • Welcome and Overview
  • Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry
  • Appreciative Inquiry Principles and Practices
  • Questions?

Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry
  • Section 2

  • Recognize the quality, significance or magnitude
  • To be fully aware of or sensitive to
  • To raise in value or price
  • The process of gathering information for the
    purpose of learning and changing
  • A close examination in a quest for truth

Report Card
  • A
  • A
  • B
  • C
  • F
  • Your child just brought this report card home.
    How does your discussion go?

Appreciative Exercise
Three Wishes
  • Interviewer 1 and Interviewer 2 pair up and
    interview one another 10 minutes each interview
    using handouts call in participants work with a
    partner or work alone through both handouts
    recording their own answers
  • Debrief Interviewer 1 (then Interviewer 2) in
    large group about the Three Wishes recorded
    from their interviews
  • Together debrief
  • Categories/themes of wishes
  • General observations
  • Together compare
  • Appreciative Approach v. Problem Solving Approach

Power of the Approach
  • What impact did your assigned interview approach
    have on your conversation?
  • How did your assigned frameproblem solving or
    appreciativeimpact your experience? The
    experience of the person being interviewed?
  • How did your assigned frame effect the Three

Problem Solving v. Appreciative Inquiry
Einstein on Conflict Resolution
  • Problems cannot be solved by the level of
    awareness that created them.
  • We can't solve problems by using the same kind
    of thinking we used when we created them.
  • The significant problems we face cannot be
    solved at the same level of thinking we were at
    when we created them.
  • No problem can be solved from the same
    consciousness that created it

Provocative Proposition
  • For certain kinds of human and organizational
    problems it is possible to solve them by focusing
    on what we want, desire, need, aspire to, etc.
    without conducting extensive root cause analysis.

Appreciative Inquiry Principles and Practices
  • Section 3

AI Historical Roots
  • Action Research (Kurt Lewin other Org. Dev.
  • Appreciative Research (Vickers)
  • Social Constructionism (Berger and Luckman

AI Description
  • Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a change process
    about the search for the best in people, their
    organizations, and the relevant world around
    them. In its broadest focus, it involves
    systematic discovery of that which gives life
    to a living system when it is most alive, most
    effective, and most constructively capable in
    economic, ecological, and human terms. AI is a
    glass half full approach to planning for
    change, rather than a process designed to
    diagnose and solve problems. AI can be used for
    groups of virtually any size, from a group of
    five to a group of thousands.

AI Uses
  • As one way of using Appreciative Inquiry in an
    organization, a small work-group might use the
    principles of AI to create a dialog process with
    members interviewing each other and other members
    of the organization asking questions to elicit
    creative and life-giving events experienced in
    the workplace.

Appreciative Questioning
  • AI is the art and practice of continuously asking
    questions from an AI perspective - questions that
    strengthen a systems capacity to recall and to
    build on past and current successes. Examples An
    AI question on the topic of change would be
    worded is this manner 
  • What are the dynamics at work when the staff is
    fully engaged in community work? Not How can
    we get staff to reach out more to the community?

Appreciative Questions, Cont.
  • Under what circumstances does your work give you
    the most satisfaction? Not What problems do
    you face in your work? 
  • What would this unit look like if it were fully
    staffed? Not How can we reduce absenteeism?  
  • What would this place be like if all treated
    each other with dignity and respect? Not How
    can we stop sexual harassment and EEOC

Appreciative Origins
  • Such questions allow the system to continuously
    rethink what is possible. AI is about freeing
    ourselves to explore beyond what we already know
    and understand. AI was created in the 80s by
    David Cooperrider and his associates at Case
    Western Reserve University in Ohio. It has been
    used worldwide with thousands of organizations
    and communities.

AI Principles Principles
  • Whole System
  • Historical and Global
  • Self-Managed Through Dialog
  • Common Ground
  • Narrative Rich Interaction
  • Appreciative Approach to Inquiry
  • Inspired Action on Behalf of Whole

AI Principles
  • The WHOLE SYSTEM participates a cross-section
    of as many interested parties as is practical.
    That means more diversity and less hierarchy than
    is usual in a working meeting, and a chance for
    each person to be heard and to learn other ways
    of looking at the task at hand. 
  • Future scenarios for an organization, community
    or issue are put into HISTORICAL and GLOBAL
    perspective. That means thinking globally
    together before acting locally. This enhances
    shared understanding and greater commitment to
    act. It also increases the range of potential

AI Principles, Cont.
  • People SELF-MANAGE their work, and use DIALOGUE
    not problem-solving as the main tool. That
    means helping each other do the tasks and taking
    responsibility for our perceptions and actions. 
    rather than conflict management, or negotiation
    as the frame of reference. That means honoring
    our differences rather than having to reconcile
    them, and searching for meanings, and direction
    in stories that honor and connect us to our
    history as positive possibility.

AI Principles, Cont.
  • APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY (AI) To appreciate means
    to value to understand those things of value
    worth valuing. To inquire means to study, to ask
    questions, to search. AI is, therefore, a
    collaborative search to identify and understand
    the organizations strengths, its potentials, the
    greatest opportunities, and peoples hopes for
    the future.

AI Principles, Cont.
    the whole system is involved it is easier to
    make more rapid decisions, and to make
    commitments to action in a public way in an
    open way that everyone can support and help make
    happen. The movement to action is guided by
    internal inspiration, shared leadership, and
    voluntary initiative. People work on what they
    share a passion about, what they most care about
    and believe will make the difference. Real
    change begins with the simple act of people
    acting on what they care about, in the context of
    a shared vision that matters.

AI The 4 D Cycle
DISCOVER Opportunity Context for Perspectives on
Affirmative Topic Choice
DREAM Images and Visions of Growth
DELIVER Goals and Action Plans for Personal
Organizational Excellence
DESIGN Aspirations for strengthening existing
Preliminary Phase DEFINE
  • Most AI initiatives begin with the creation and
    definition of a affirmative TOPIC
  • Hence, DEFINE, while not one of the 4-Ds is an
    important preliminary D
  • TOPIC is stated in the affirmative and serves as
    guide for AI summit (meeting)

Appreciative TopicsExamples
  • Examples of appreciative topic definitions
  • Igniting Leadership at all Levels Working
    Together to Ensure the Earths Vitality (EPA,
    Office of Research and Development)
  • Living our Purpose and Principles (Green
    Mountain Roasters)
  • Building Capacity for Social and Economic
    Development (World Vision Tanzania)

  • The DISCOVER phase begins with mixed group or
    pair interviews in which participants discuss
    their peak experiences and search together for
    themes and factors that give life to the TOPIC.
    Typical steps in the DISCOVER phase are
  • Step 1 Positive Change Core Interviews
  • Step 2 Small Groups Meet
  • Step 3 Positive Core Map

DISCOVERPositive Change Core Interviews
  • Typical AI Interview Questions 
  • Think about a time when you were really engaged
    in and excited about a new learning experience.
    Tell a story about that time. What as happening?
    What made it a great moment in time? What were
    you doing to contribute to this moment? What were
    others doing? What were the other dynamics that
    contributed to that time? 
  • What do you value about yourself as a person? 
  • If you had three wishes about learning for the
    people in this room what would they be? 

Positive Change Core Interviews, Cont.
  • The subject matter could be anything
    cooperation, race, gender, productivity, best
    practices, restructurings, redesigns etc.
  • Positive Change Core Interviews are typically
    organized as a follows
  • Statement related to the topic
  • Questions designed to guide discussion about the

Positive Change Core Interview Example
  • Question 1
  • Companies that support a culture of learning
    continually invest in their most valuable asset
    their people.
  • Describe a learning experience that contributed
    directly to your success and allowed you to
    perform at a particularly high level.
  • What made this learning experience exceptional?
  • What 2 3 things could be done to build a
    culture of learning at our agency?

DISCOVER, Cont.Groups Share Discoveries
  • Interview pairs reconvene into small groups to
    share highlight stories and search for patterns
    and root causes of success.

DISCOVER, Cont.Change Core Map
  • The small groups work individually to synthesize
    their patterns into a creative metaphor to
    communicate their concept of the positive core
    of the TOPIC
  • Groups then describe their metaphors to the large
  • Change Core Maps ideally captured graphically

  • This phase of AI gives participants the
    opportunity to envision their groups greatest
    potential for positive influence and impact in
    the organization in the PRESENT and the FUTURE
  • Next, pairs of participants identify themes
    operating that contributed to the peak
    experience. Themes are the resources, behaviors,
    emotions feelings of the people at the time of
    the peak, memorable experience.
  • DREAM themes are then shared within the small
    group, and then presented to the large group
    (through skits, works of art, magazine cover
    stories, etc.)

  • At this phase, participants work together to
    create key themes or DESIGN statements that
    will help the group move towards its dream.
  • Groups write how the organization functions if
    the themes were operating to the maximum, in the
  • The Facilitator extracts the themes/DESIGN
    statements and posts them around the room.
  • Participants select a theme/DESIGN statement
    posted in some part of the room, and create a new
    group that then writes Provocative Propositions
    (statement of what that element would look like
    in the desired future).
  • Provocative Propositions are posted (or typed
    into draft form)

  • DELIVER is all about creating an action plan to
    bring your desired TOPIC into being.
  • The large group reviews the Provocative
    Propositions and votes for agreement (e.g, use
    voting cards green agree yellow
    conditional agreement red disagree)
  • Each agreed upon proposition becomes a proposed
    possible pilot project that will move the group
    toward its desired future
  • Participants move to one or more breakout
    group/pilot project and draft a purpose
    statement, short description, and short, mid, and
    long term actions steps.
  • .

Typical Project Start-Up
  • Choose the topic (perhaps based upon themes from
    generic interviews with research questions)
    state the topic in the AFFIRMATIVE
  • Agree on desired outcomes
  • Agree on how to get there
  • Develop draft interview protocol
  • Practice interviews develop interview guidelines
  • Plan for collecting and analyzing the data
  • Plan for how the process will drive change

When to Use AI
  • When high levels of participation and cooperation
    are required
  • When change process needs to be accelerated
  • When work requires innovation among diverse
    groups in high stakes environment
  • When multiple change initiatives need to be

  • Tangible Deliverables
  • Compendium of Best Practices/Stories
  • Visual Displays
  • Customized Appreciative Interview Protocols and
  • Organizational Design and Action Plan Statement
  • Train-the-Trainer Plans and Meetings
  • Skill Building Activities for Personnel
  • Customized AI Workshop
  • Meeting Design
  • Special Events (e.g. Whole System Meeting)

More Deliverables!!
  • Intangible Deliverables
  • Process Consultation
  • Appreciative Data Analysis
  • Culture Change
  • Organizational Transformation

Criticism of AI
  • AI is just warm and fuzzy.
  • AI is actually data driven but approaches
  • AI is a positive thinking security blanket.
  • Positive thinking is individual AI is
    collectively and continually created
  • AI is wildly imbalanced.
  • Problem solving approaches also search for
    strengths, but in AI the emphasis is on the
    desired future rather than the undesired past

  • Section 4