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Appreciative Inquiry


Appreciative Inquiry A Revolution in Change * View Notes for speaking note suggestions Contact Debbie Morris at New Challenges Require New ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Appreciative Inquiry

Appreciative Inquiry
  • A Revolution in Change

View Notes for speaking note suggestions Contact
Debbie Morris at
New Challenges Require New Thinking First
  • 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

Darwins Unfortunate Legacy
  • The world is hostile, requiring a constant
    struggle for survival
  • Error leads to death
  • Life is an accident, one of many random events
  • Must dominate, control
  • Things exist outside me in a fixed, independent
  • The great machine

  • A western educational business tradition that
  • - critical thinking - critiquing
  • - adversarial thinking - confrontation
  • - testing one viewpoint against the other to find
    the strongest
  • We focus almost exclusively on advocacy
  • - presenting our views and arguing strongly for
  • - debating forcefully to influence others
  • Most managers are trained to be advocates

Maybe Darwin Was Wrong
  • Life is about invention, not survival
  • Were here to create, not defend
  • Everything is in a constant process of discovery
  • Life organizes and seeks systems so that more may
  • Life is a great playground we make up as we go

  • A complementary skill to advocacy that
  • seeks to uncover information about why a
    particular view is held
  • asks questions about underlying assumptions,
    beliefs, reasoning
  • explores
  • - why do you believe this ?
  • - what logic leads to this conclusion ?
  • - what facts and data do you have ?
  • - what examples or past experience exists ?
  • Supported by attitude of wanting to understand,
    explore, learn, expand
  • Not a technique to cross examine people or find

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

How It Works Generally
  • First, understand the positive core of a living
    system. What makes it most effective and vital,
    in economic, ecological and human terms?
  • We move in the direction of our deepest and most
    frequently asked questions.
  • Positive guiding images of the future trigger
    action in the present.
  • Images are found in our dialogue with each other.
  • Ratio of positive to negative statements is a
    success factor for change.
  • Individuals groups can then weave the best of
    what is into formal and informal practices.
  • This new approach to change, based on the power
    of the positive question, has emerged from
    revolutions in many fields

Our image of the future drives our ACTION!
  • When organizations or groups capture positive
    imagery internally and make it visible, it starts
    to drive change in an individualistic,
    self-directed way. It creates a sense of focus.

Internal Conversations Studies of pre and post
operative patients. Difference in
recovery between positive and negative imagery.
Pygmalion Effect Change a teachers image of
a student, and their behavior changes toward the
student, improving student performance
Sports Vivid visualization of ones performance
guides physical performance. Speed of learning
when only correct images are reviewed.
Placebo Effect Help someone construct an image
of how something might happen, and it drives
behavior which creates a change in that
Sociology The study of problems creates an
increase in number severity of problems. But
opposite also occurs.
The Idea of Positive Change
  • Definition Any form of organization change,
    re-design, or planning that begins with
    comprehensive analysis of an organizations
    positive core and then links this knowledge to
    the heart of any strategic change agenda.
  • Because human systems move toward what they
    persistently ask questions about, positive change
    involves the deliberate discovery of everything
    that gives a system life when it is most
    effective in economic and human terms.
  • Link the positive core directly to any strategic
    agenda, and changes never thought possible are
    more rapidly mobilized while simultaneously
    building enthusiasm, corporate confidence, and
    human energy.

Comparison to Problem Focus
Problem Solving
Appreciative Inquiry
  • What to fix
  • Underlying grammar problem, symptoms, causes,
    solutions, action plan, intervention
  • Breaks things into pieces specialties,
    guaranteeing fragmented responses
  • Slow! Takes a lot of positive emotion to make
    real change.
  • Assumes organizations are constellations of
    problems to be overcome
  • What to grow
  • New grammar of the true, good, better, possible
  • Problem focus implies that there is an ideal.
    AI breaks open the box of what the ideal is
  • Expands vision of preferred future. Creates new
    energy fast.
  • Assumes organizations are sources of infinite
    capacity and imagination

Study of Turnover ? Magnetic Connectivity
  • In the physical world, all matter is held
    together by the pull between opposite electric
    charges. Successful e-companies are highly
    nimble, flexible communities. People connect in
    new and innovative ways. Suppliers and customers
    are pulled together and become seamless
    edge-to-edge organizations. Communities of
    interest form and are pulled together by shared
    values and interests. Knowledge networks form as
    catalysts for innovation and creativity. People,
    process, and technology experts are attracted and
    deliver high value solutions to their client
  • A. Think of a time when you felt magnetically
    connected to your client, your colleagues, and
    your community. . . connected in a way that the
    force was so strong that it could not be broken.
    What was that experience? What did it feel
  • B. As you look into the future, describe how you
    see us connected to our customers and our
    colleagues - in ways that are so strong that we
    are seen as inseparable business partners.

Analysis of Grievance Reduction ? Enthusiastic
Engagement Positive Energy
  • Organizations work best when they are vibrant,
    alive and fun. You know, when the "joint is
    jumping!" You can sense that the spirit of the
    organization is vital and healthy and that people
    feel pride in their work. Everyone builds on
    each other's successes, a positive can do
    attitude is infectious and the glow of success is
    shared. What's more, this positive energy is
    appreciated and celebrated so it deepens and
  • 1. Tell me about a time when you experienced
    positive energy that was infectious. What was
    the situation? What created the positive energy?
    How did it feel to be a part of it? What did
    you learn?
  • 2. If positive energy were the flame of the
    organization, how would you spark it? How would
    you fuel it to keep it burning bright?

The AI Change Process
Definition Decide What to Learn About
  • Discovery
  • Opportunity Context
  • Positive Core

Dream Envisioning what might be shared images
for a preferred future
Delivery Sustaining the Change
Topic (What you Want More of)
Design Finding innovative ways to create that
future Breakthrough propositions
4 Generic Questions to Start
  • Best experience. A time when
  • What do you value about yourself, work,
  • What do you think is the core life-giving factor
    or value of your organization that which if it
    did not exist would make your organization
    totally different than it currently is?
  • If you had three wishes for this organization,
    what would it be?

Typical Project Start-up
  • Choose the topic combine themes from generic
    interviews with research questions.
  • Agree on desired outcomes CSF
  • Agree on how to get there
  • Develop draft interview protocol
  • Practice interviews develop interview guidelines
  • Plan for collecting analyzing the data
  • Plan for how the process will drive change.

Application Areas
  • Leadership Management Development
  • Work Process Redesign
  • Team Development
  • Organization Culture Change
  • Employee Development
  • HR Practices Staffing, Orientation, Performance
  • Communications
  • Collaborative alliances joint ventures
  • Community customer relations
  • Diversity initiatives
  • Strategic Planning
  • Focus Groups
  • Benchmarking
  • Surveys
  • Evaluation to Valuation

Why It Works (1)
  • Doesnt focus on changing people ? Relief that
    the message isnt about what theyve done wrong
    or have to stop doing.
  • Invites people to engage in building the kinds of
    organizations and communities that they want to
    live in.
  • Helps everyone see the need for change, explore
    new possibilities, and contribute to solutions.
  • Through alignment of formal and informal
    structures with purpose and principles, it
    translates shared vision into reality and belief
    into practice.

Why it works (2)
  • Assumptions ? conversation ? dominant images ?
    individual acts at both conscious and unconscious
    levels ? organizational infrastructure.
  • Organizations manifest human imagination.
    Learnings that surface through AI shift
    collective image.
  • Process responds to three truths about human
  • Exceptionality Were all exceptions. We respond
    best when this is noticed conditions for
    exceptional performance are enhanced.
  • Essentiality We each need to be seen as
    essential to the group. If we lift up
    meaningful contributions, it creates a compelling
    guiding image for others
  • Equality Creates a way for the organization to
    be in full voice about the true, good, better,

Why Now?
  • The size, scope transnational nature of the
    modern corporation have given it a unique and
    growing role in daily life.
  • Were witnessing the birth of the global
    community a greater sense of universal
  • Positive things do not come by nature. For
    positive things to occur, we have to make an
  • There is a tremendous urge to experience
    wholeness. The experience of wholeness brings
    out the best in people and systems.

  1. A high-participation, full-voice process targeted
    at organizational innovation
  2. A learning process to identify and disseminate
    best practices
  3. A way of managing and working that fosters
    positive communication and can result in the
    formation of deep and meaningful relationships
  4. Can be used to radically redesign the governance
    structures and processes of an organization.
  5. Mobilizes strategic change by focusing on the
    core strengths of an organization, then using
    those strengths to reshape the future. 

References Used
  • What is Appreciative Inquiry by Joe Hall Sue
  • Appreciative Inquiry Change at the Speed of
    Imagination, by Jane Magruder Watkins and Berhard
    J. Mohr.
  • Appreciative Inquiry A Constructive Approach to
    Organization Development and Social Change, 2001
    Cape Cod Institute Workshop by David Cooperrider
    and Marge Schiller
  • Appreciative Inquiry Igniting Transformative
    Action, by Bernard Mohr. From The Systems
    Thinker, Volume 12, 1, 2001, at
  • Other Resources
  • AI Listserve at
  • AI Commons website at http//appreciativeinquiry.c
  • AI Consulting Organization is just getting
    started a global network of AI practitioners at

What Now?
  • Your reaction
  • How might AI complement what youre already doing
    at entry?
  • What might be a good next step?

Additional Background
5 Principles
  1. Constructionist We live in worlds our questions
    create. Knowledge and org destiny are interwoven.
    We see the world we describe.
  2. Simultaneity Change begins at the moment you ask
    the first question.
  3. Open Book We can read almost anything into any
  4. Anticipatory Deep change occurs first in our
    images of the future
  5. Positive The more positive the question, the
    greater and longer-lasting the change.

Assumptions Underneath
  1. In every human system, something works.
  2. What we focus on, and the language we use,
    becomes our reality.
  3. Reality is created in the moment and there are
    multiple realities. It is important to value
  4. The act of asking questions influences the group
    in some way.
  5. People have more confidence comfort to move to
    an unknown future when they carry forward parts
    of the past.
  6. What we carry forward should be what is best
    about the past.

Appreciative Leadership
  • New definition of leadership includes
  • the ability to see the best,
  • lift it up,
  • create an alignment of strengths,
  • see opportunities in the environment more rapidly
    than others.

Thomas White, President GTE
  • After you reengineer the organization, how do
    you reengineer the psychology that makes it work?
  • AI can get you much better results than seeking
    out and solving problems. Thats an interesting
    concept for me because telephone companies are
    among the best problem-solvers in the world. We
    trouble-shoot everything. We concentrate
    enormous resources on correcting problems that
    have relatively minor impact on our overall
    service performance. We dont tolerate
    imperfection. This has led to some excellent
    results. But when used continually and over a
    long period of time, this approach can lead to a
    negative culture. If you combine a negative
    culture with all the challenges we face today, it
    could be easy to convince ourselves that we have
    too many problems to overcome to slip into a
    paralyzing sense of hopelessness. If we
    dissect what we do right and apply the lessons to
    what we do wrong, we can solve our problems and
    re-energize the organization at the same time.
  • When you get survey results that tell you that 94
    percent of your customers are satisfied, what do
    you do? Do you conduct additional research to
    find out what makes those 94 out of 100 people so
    happy or do you send your entire research
    department out to gather as many negative stories
    as you can from the miserable 6 percent?
  • In the long run, what is likely to be more
    useful Demoralizing a successful workforce by
    concentrating on their failures or helping them
    over their last few hurdles by building a bridge
    with their successes?

Dealing with the Negative
  • It is how experiences are reflected upon, talked
    about, defined, and the reality we co-create that
    ultimately makes it positive or negative.
  • We must never be intimidated by experts
    experts deal only in facts, but important
    decisions are matters of philosophy and valuing,
    not fact.
  • AI is a way of reclaiming our imaginative