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An Introduction to


Prepared with adapted works of David Cooperrider, Diana Whitney and Amanda ... It is a Time for Re-thinking ... An energizing exploration of 'what might be. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: An Introduction to

An Introduction toAppreciative InquiryA
Positive Way to View Change
  • Training Development Off-site, June 8, 2004
  • Presented by Donna Mattison, Wachovia, CMG
  • Prepared with adapted works of David Cooperrider,
    Diana Whitney and Amanda Trosten-Bloom and David
    Kolb and authors research.

Table of Contents
It is a Time for Re-thinking Human Organization
  • Globalization, workforce demographics and
    technology has created transformational shifts
    for organizations. With this comes increasing
    complexity with ambiguous, novel problems and
    continual challenges for change.
  • Were also experiencing trends toward creating
    value through people where the intangibles, such
    as leadership, culture and relationships make a
    difference to an organizations bottom line and
    competitive advantage.
  • During the next 15 years, we also face drops in
    workforce growth and the problem wont just be a
    lack of bodies. Skills, knowledge, experience,
    and relationships are walking out the door.
    Therefore, collaboration and knowledge sharing
    are moving to the forefront of organizational

Appreciative Inquiry (AI)
  • Is the study and exploration of what gives life
    to human systems when they function at their
  • Is based on the assumption that questions and
    dialogue about strengths, successes, values,
    hopes and dreams are themselves transformational.
  • Suggests that human organizing and change, at
    its best, is a relational process of inquiry
    grounded in affirmation and appreciation.

Appreciative Inquiry (AI), Continued
  • AI is a simple technique with a complex
    background. It has been used successfully all
    over the world to consult with people and learn
    from their experiences, to involve whole
    organizations in change and development and to
    build a vision for the future that everyone can
    share and help put into practice.
  • Appreciative Inquiry is a technique that can
    easily be learned and adapted for a range of
    situations. It is an approach that involves and
    engages people. It encourages listening and
    communication skills and above all it empowers
    individuals and demonstrates respect for each
    others views.

2 Problem-Solving Approaches
  • Deficit-Based
  • Appreciative Inquiry
  • Have Pain
  • Identify the Problems
  • Root Cause Analysis
  • Solution Analysis
  • Action Planning
  • Reflecting on what we do best
  • Disseminate stories best practices
  • Narrative analysis of success factors
  • Determine our preferred world
  • Conscious, inspired choices

Basic Assumption An organization is a problem to
be solved
Basic Assumption An organization is a mystery to
be embraced
4-D Cycle Overview
  • Affirmative Topic Choice
  • The cycle begins with the thoughtful
    identification of what is to be
    studiedaffirmative topics. The topics selected
    become the organizations agenda for learning
    innovation. These topics unfold through the
    collective thoughts from 4 core questions
  • Tell me about a peak experience or highpoint in
    your professional lifea time when you felt most
    alive, most engaged and really proud of yourself
    and work.
  • Without being humble, what do you most value
    about yourself and the way you do your work? Your
    team? Your organization?
  • What are the core factors that give life to this
    organization, when it is at its best?
  • If you had a magic wand, and could have 3 wishes
    granted to heighten the health and vitality of
    this organization, what would they be?

4-D Cycle Overview, Continued
Discovery Phase An extensive, cooperative search
to understand the best of what is and what has
been. It is typically conducted via 1x1
interviews, it may also include focus groups and
large group meetings. Discovery involves
purposefully affirmative conversations among many
or all members of an organization including
external stakeholders, benchmark organizations
and customers. This is where we find the
positive corethe most positive potential.
  • Dream Phase
  • An energizing exploration of what might be.
    This phase is a time for people to collectively
    explore hopes and dreams for their work, their
    working relationships, their organization and
    their community.

4-D Cycle Overview, Continued
Design Phase The creation of a set of provocative
propositions which are statements describing the
ideal organization or what should be. Design
activities expand on the organizations image of
itself by presenting clear pictures of how things
will be when the organizations positive core is
boldly alive.
  • Destiny Phase
  • A series of inspired actions that support
    ongoing learning innovation or what will be.
    This is the final phase that focuses specifically
    on personal and organizational paths moving
    forward. In many cases, AI becomes the framework
    for leadership ongoing organizational
    development. Therefore, in the Destiny phase,
    many organizations begin the 4-D cycle anew!

4-D Cycle
Discovery What gives life? (The best of what
is) Appreciating
Affirmative Topic Choice
Dream What might be? (What is the world calling
for) Envisioning Results
Destiny How to empower, learn, and
adjust/improvise? Sustaining
Positive Core
Design What should be--the ideal? Co-constructi

AI is supported by Eight Principles
Constructionist Principle Words create worlds
meaning is socially created, through language
conversations.Principle of Simultaneity
Inquiry creates change the moment we ask a
question, we begin to create change.Poetic
Principle We can choose what we study
organizations, like open books, are endless
sources of information learning.Anticipatory
Principle Human systems move in the direction of
their images what we choose to study makes a
Eight Principles of AI, Continued
Positive Principle Positive questions lead to
positive change.Wholeness Principle Wholeness
brings out the best in people organization
bringing all stakeholders together in a group
forum that stimulates creativity and builds
collective capacity.Enactment Principle To
really make change, we must be the change we
want to see.Free Choice Principle People
perform better and are more committed when they
have the freedom to choose how and what they want
to contribute.
Potential Uses for AI
  • Mission Statement/Vision Development
  • Strategic Planning
  • Organizational/System Redesign
  • Process and Service Enhancement
  • Quality Improvement Initiatives
  • Group Culture Change
  • Civic/Community Development
  • Umbrella for Multiple Change Initiatives in a
  • Appraisals and Performance Management
  • Leadership Development
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Individual Coaching and Development

Applying AI in Business2 Successful Examples
  • Hunter Douglas neededCulture ChangeStrategic
    PlanningTotal QualityResultsEmployee
    EngagementLeadership Bench StrengthStrategic
    Vision Alignment

GTE needed Positive Change
Network Culture Change Union Management
Partnership Call Center Excellence
Results 1997 ASTD Award Employee
Surveys Contract Negotiations
Appreciative Inquiry Experiential Learning
  • Now what if the AI process shifted from thinking
    to doingFrom the cognitive domain to
    kinestheticfrom storytelling to
    experiencingwhere dreams from the imagination
    about working well together manifested into a
    physical experience?

What is Experiential Learning (EL)?
  • EL is a formalized process for reflecting on
    experience in order to extract meaningful
    learning and to develop tacit1 knowledge. By
    sharing and learning from common experience,
    people attain the high levels of rapport,
    empathy, trust and mutual understanding necessary
    to risk and embrace change together.
  • 1 Tacit Knowledge is a mixture of deliberations,
    subjective insight, intuition and judgment that
    we acquire by virtue of our experiences and

David Kolb's model of the Learning Cycle
Experiential Learning is best described by David
David Kolb's model of the Learning Cycle
  • In the first phase (1), the educator involves the
    learners in a concrete experience. The experience
    could be a role play, a live or video
    demonstration, a case study, or a testimonial.
    Generally, it will not be a lecture.
  • The second phase (2) is referred to as reflective
    observation where the learners are asked to
    review the experience from many perspectives.
    They ask themselves questions. What happened?
    What did you observe?
  • During the third phase (3) of abstract
    conceptualization, the learners develop theories
    and look at patterns. Further questions are
    asked. How do you account for what you observed?
    What does it mean for you? How is it significant?
    What conclusions can you draw? What general
    principles can you derive?
  • The fourth phase (4) of this experiential model
    is active experimentation. The learners suggest
    ways that they can apply the principles they have
    learned. How can we apply this learning? In what
    ways can we use it the next time? What would we
    do differently?

AI EL Merged!
  • When merged with Appreciative Inquiry,
    Experiential Learning supports and illuminates
    the AI process, making the process come alive
    for all stakeholders.

AI EL Peak Experiences of Learning
  • Therefore, AI is experiential in practice--
    However EL can be taken to different levels in
    the AI process. By front-loading selected
    structured experiences into the AI cycle, it can
    accelerate relationships, learning change.

Sample of AI and EL merged in an event
Structured Exercise Experience Debrief
Appreciative Inquiry
  • Six Freedoms that liberate power (Ground Rules)
  • Freedom to be known in Relationship
  • The Freedom to Be Heard
  • The Freedom to Dream in Community
  • The Freedom to Choose to Contribute
  • The Freedom to Act with Support
  • The Freedom to be Positive

Affirmative Topics(normally created using the
core questions)
Structured Exercise
  • Preserving the positive core of what CMG does
    best and letting go of other things that no
    longer fit the evolving nature of our work.
  • Creating a more collaborative and seamless CMG
    training team where our processes and procedures
    are mutual the client has a consistent
    experience across CMG.

Discovery PhaseAppreciative Interview
Structured Exercise
  • Meet a stranger pick unfamiliar partner!
  • 2. Interview each other (10 min. each)
  • 3. Listen share your storiescan make brief
    notes, if needed.

Structured Exercise
Appreciative Interview Questions
  1. Describe a time when you worked effectively
    collaboratively with another training partner
    (from another LOB) and successfully met the
    clients needs. What was the high point of this
    experience? What did you learn? How did it feel?
  2. Dream into the futurethe TD team has a
    wonderful seamless partnership. What does this
    look like? What 3 things might have been done to
    create this seamless partnership?

Brief Notes
Structured Exercise
Stories have wings
Structured Exercise
  • Form groups of 6-8, along with your original
  • Introduce your partner to the group by making
    a 1-2 min. summary introduction with highlights
    of partners stories (20 minutes).
  • Then each of the small groups share 1-2 great
    stories or themes with the entire group.

Shared Meaning of the Positive Core
Structured Exercise

Discussion Around the Campfire
  • What did you hear that was important?
  • What led us to creating these wonderful themes
    and ideas?

Brief Explanation of how the next phases would
work in this exercise
  • Dream Visions Voices of the Future
  • Design Giving Form to Values Ideals
  • Destiny Inspired Action Improvisation

  • We can decide what to focus on in our
    organizations. We can focus on what is perceived
    to be broken or we can choose to inquire into the
    life giving, positives of our work.
  • Our shared beliefs about what is possible will
    shape our images behaviors. By getting everyone
    involved with positive images, thinking and
    conversations into the strengths of the
    organization, the system can transform itself!

Reference List
  • Whitney, Diana and Trosten-Bloom, Amanda (2003).
    The Power of Appreciative Inquiry A Practical
    Guide to Positive Change.
  • Ricketts, Miriam and Willis, James (2001).
    Experience AI A Practioners Guide to
    Integrating Appreciative Inquiry with
    Experiential Learning.
  • Kolb, David A. (1984). Experiential Learning
    Experience as the Source of Learning and
  • AI Commons website at http//appreciativeinquiry.c
  • AiPractioner Journal has articles of on-going
    research for the AI methodology. The on-line
    journal is at http//