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Appreciative Inquiry


Are your questions simple, concise, provoking and energizing? 23 ... Re-energize the workplace, team etc. to decide how they want to work together ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Appreciative Inquiry

Appreciative Inquiry
  • Summer Workshop 2008

Rating the Interview from 1-5
Overview of Appreciative Inquiry
What is Appreciative Inquiry?
  • Appreciative Inquiry is a form of
    transformational inquiry that selectively seeks
    to locate, highlight, and illuminate the
    life-giving forces of an organizations
  • It is the study and exploration of what gives
    life to human systems when they are at their
  • It is an organizational development methodology
    based on the assumption that inquiry into and
    dialogue about strengths, successes, values,
    hopes and dreams is itself transformational.
  • Cooperider, Whitney and Stavros 2008
    Appreciative Inquiry Handbook

Origins of AI
  • Work of Cooperrider and Srivasta at Case Western
    Reserve Univ. early 80s
  • Case of Cleveland Clinic 2 approaches
  • 1. Mckinsey collecting data about conflict in
    the hospital
  • 2. Cooperrider and Srivasta carrying out
    interviews about best experiences working in the

Origins cont.
  • Cooperrider and Srivasta published seminal
    article in 87 critiquing action research and
    introducing AI as a theory of organizing and
    method for changing social systems.
  • Their breakthrough social and psychological
    reality as a product of the moment, open to
    continuous reconstruction (as opposed to
    something fundamentally stable, enduring).

The Difference between the Two Paradigms
  • Appreciative Inquiry
  • Appreciating and Valuing the Best of What Is
  • Envisioning What might be
  • Dialoguing What should be
  • Innovating What will be
  • Basic Assumption An organization is a mystery
    (infinite capacity) to be embraced.
  • Problem Solving
  • Felt Need Identification of the problem
  • Analysis of the Causes
  • Analysis of Solutions
  • Action Planning (treatment)
  • Basic Assumption An organization is a problem
    to be solved.

Salient Features of Appreciative Inquiry
  • Seeks to discover, understand and foster
  • Open ended interviewing techniques with minimal
    leading of the interviewee.
  • Questions that are positive in nature.
  • The focus is on peak experiences
  • What do you want more of?
  • Positive images, create positive futures.
  • We create the future that we imagine.

Appreciative Inquiry
  • Begins with appreciation of the past and present
  • Should be applicable (relevant, practical,
  • Should be provocative (catalyzing questions
    provoke thinking and action)
  • Should be collaborative engaging the whole system
    into inquiry.
  • Through grounded observation we collectively
    discover the best of what is.

The Four Ds of Appreciative Inquiry
Affirmative topic choice
5 Theories of Change Underlying AI (from Gervase
  • 1. Social Construction of Reality
  • language actively shapes the world
  • new ideas are the most powerful force for change
  • 2. Heliotropic Hypothesis
  • social systems evolve toward positive self images

Theories of Change cont.
  • 3. The Organizations Inner Dialogue
  • stories told outside formal gatherings condition
    beliefs about what the organization is and what
    is possible
  • change the stories and you change the culture
  • 4. Resolving Paradoxical Dilemmas
  • social systems become stuck in undiscussable
    paradoxes that require generative images to
    offer ways out

Theories of Change cont.
  • 5. Appreciative Process
  • we get more of whatever we pay attention to so
    focus on what you want and work on amplifying it

Examples of Appreciative Inquiry
  • Imagine Chicago 500 community leaders came
    together to discuss their relationship across
    race and ethnicity that are positive.
  • AI Question What is the best inter-racial
    relationships you have ever had?
  • Positive Deviance in Vietnam Save the Children
    nutrition project.
  • AI Question What are you feeding your
    children that keeps them so healthy?
  • Avon of Mexico Used AI to move away from sexual
    harassment to look at the positive relationships
    women and men have had working together.
  • AI Question What is the best male-female
    work relationship you have ever had ?.

What do you think of this? How is this different
than other approaches?
Role of the Interviewer in AI
  • The purpose of open-ended and unstructured
    interviewing is to find out what is in the
    interviewees head, not to put something there.
  • The task of the interviewer is to make it
    possible for the person being interviewed to
    bring the interviewer into his or her own world
  • Create energy, rapport, insight.

Role of the Interviewer
  • The Interviewer simply asks the question and
    lets the respondent answer, probing only for
    clarification, elucidation and depth.
  • AI question from Cornerstone
  • Tell me a story about a time when you really
    made a difference in a womans life?

Probes and Follow-up Questions
  • Three types of probes
  • 1) A conversational probe to get more detail
  • When did that happen?
  • Who else was involved?
  • How did that come about?
  • 2) An elaboration probe
  • Nod your head gently or say uh-huh
  • Would you elaborate on that
  • 3) A clarification probe
  • You need more information.
  • You said the programme was a success. What do
    you mean by success?
  • Let me ask you to repeat what you said so that I
    can get your exact thoughts.
  • Tell me how you made a difference?

Lets try it
  • Exercise 10 minutes per person.
  • Think back to an experience when you worked in a
  • Question Tell me your best experience ever
    participating in a team?
  • Probing Questions
  • Describe how you felt, and what you and others
    did to make the situation possible?
  • How did you contribute to this peak experience?
  • What made this experience so special?
  • Describe its impact.

Types of Appreciative Questions
  • What do you value most about your participation
    in the programme?
  • Define three concrete wishes you have for the
    future of the programme?
  • What is your peak experience with the
  • Can you tell me a story about some experiences
    you had with Schoolpower that was particularly
  • Is there now, or has there ever been a person of
    another race whom you would describe as having
    had a significant positive impact on your life?

What Makes an Appreciative Question
  • A Powerful Question
  • Is simple and clear
  • Is thought provoking
  • Generates energy
  • Focuses inquiry
  • Opens new possibilities
  • Looks for something you want more of.

Exercise Appreciative Questions vs
Non-Appreciative Questions
  • Sort the group of statements into two categories
    appreciative questions vs non-appreciative
  • Make 3 appreciative questions around your
    learning project.
  • Are your questions simple, concise, provoking and

Some More Background and Practicing your own
Inquiry Day 2
Underlying Assumptions around Appreciative Inquiry
  • In every society, organization, or group
    something works.
  • What we focus on becomes our reality.
  • The act of asking questions of the organization
    or group, influences the group in some way.
  • People have more confidence and comfort to
    journey to the future (the unknown) when they
    carry forward parts of the past (the known)
  • Hammond, Sue Annis. The Thin Book of
    Appreciative Inquiry, pp.20-21.

Steps in Appreciative Methodology
  • 1. Choosing the affirmative question.
  • 2. Undertaking appreciative interviews. Hearing
    the stories.
  • 3. Write-ups. Writing up the story.
  • 4. Looking for patterns, trends and gems.
  • 5. Evoking provocative propositions.
  • Validating and disseminating the propositions.
  • Go forward to design and deliver.

The Four Ds of Appreciative Inquiry
Different Roles
Interviewee tells the story
Interviewer/Facilitator Asks the question and
Notetaker Writes up the story in the first
person. Reads it back to the interviewee to make
sure everything is captured.
Some details
  • When you write up your story make sure to put the
    following at the top of the page
  • -Interviewee__________________
  • -Interviewed by________________
  • -Written by___________________
  • Always write-up the story in the first person
    using I, as if you were speaking yourself.

Interviewing in Triads
  • Overall Inquiry Your learning project question?
  • Tell me a story (specific) about how you or
    someone you know ?
  • What made this experience so special?
  • Describe its impact.
  • (20 mins. Interviewing, 5 mins feedback, 5
    minutes recorder asks questions)
  • Switch roles.

What can AI results be used for
  • Vision statement for an organization,group, team,
  • Defining an objective or results for a project
  • Re-energize the workplace, team etc. to decide
    how they want to work together
  • Use experience to introduce AI into daily
  • As beginning of a planning process then move to
    OS, RBM etc.

Articulating Provocative Propositions
  • Provocation propositions are statements that
    bridge the best of what is or has been and
    ones speculation about what might be.
  • Challenge the status quo by expanding the realm
    of the possible.
  • Construct a proposition about what is possible.
    State the proposition in affirmative languageas
    if the proposition were already true and
    happening at the current time.

Examples of Provocative Propositions
  • A common vision helps give all members a feeling
    of significance, purpose, pride and unity.
  • In a truly inclusive organization, people feel as
    if they are the owners of the organization.
  • Ultimate authority is derived from the consent of
  • Leadership is inspirational and participative.
  • There is an organizational and individual
    commitment to life long learning.

Create Metaphors
  • This is the metaphor for how consultants can
    improve the world, at the end of a 1.5 day
  • The Ship of Inspiration
  • We improve the world by getting in the boat with
    our clients. The voyage begins with inspiration
    and one single step. The possessions we bring
    are trust that the clients know what they want,
    trust in the process, commitment, curiosity,
    resource, skills, willingness to take risks. We
    ride the waves and use our intuition to know when
    to take the helm, when to teach and when to let
    others sail the boat. The purpose of the voyage
    is to discover new oceans. The waves can be
    rough and the wind can take us to places we never
    thought we would go. And the journey never ends

Mission Statement
  • We in UNICEF share a common vision to serve the
    children and women in Yemen and work within a
    team that gives all members a sense of inclusion,
    harmony, equality, appreciation, and motivation
    because each of us leads by example. We are the
    team which has the ability to make decisions for
    positive and innovative change because we
    practice constructive communication. We are
    committed and work within the spirit of mutual
    trust and accountability, and believe in
    responsible and transparent leadership that can
    be gained by respect, participation, equality,
    and acknowledgement.

Exercise the Analysis
  • Read each text out loud
  • Listen for patterns, themes and categories that
    will emerge from the data.
  • List key ideas and concepts. Make notes on
    flipchart. After the first read, go back and
    reread the marked sections. Give each of them a
    one or two word description.
  • Look for similarities and differences between the
  • Now share your findings with your group. Compare
  • Create provocative statements, result statements,
    metaphors or a drawing that focus on the meaning,
    underlying motivations and spirit that bring
    people together around your theme.

  • Summary sheet on appreciative inquiry
  • Pre-Interview letter
  • Analyzing qualitative data

Summary Sheet
  • Appreciative Inquiry Summit For More
    Information Appreciative Inquiry Commons,
    http//ai.cwru.eduPurpose To accelerate
    positive change in organizations and communities
    by involving a broad range of internal and
    external stakeholders in the change process in
    real time. Outcomes Energizes the
    organization by putting the focus on strengths
    and potentials (rather than deficits and
    deficiencies) Generates innovation by
    connecting people in new configurations around
    promising ideas Builds leadership at all
    levels by involving everyone in envisioning,
    designing, and implementing change When to Use
    When you want to engage people, capitalize on
    their best thinking, and mobilize the entire
    organization quickly around a strategic change
    agenda When Not to Use When leaders are not
    committed to full engagement, positive dialogue,
    and innovation throughout the organization

Preparing the Pre-Interview Letter
  • Upbeat and thought provoking
  • Provides the context.
  • What will you do with the information.
  • What will the interview focus on the key

Underlying Assumptions around Appreciative Inquiry
  • In every society, organization, or group
    something works.
  • What we focus on becomes our reality.
  • Reality is created in the moment, and there are
    multiple realities.
  • The act of asking questions of the organization
    or group, influences the group in some way.
  • People have more confidence and comfort to
    journey to the future (the unknown) when they
    carry forward parts of the past (the known)
  • If we carry part of the past forward, they should
    be what is best about the past.
  • The language we use creates our reality.
  • Hammond, Sue Annis. The Thin Book of
    Appreciative Inquiry, pp.20-21.