Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a strengths based approach to organizational development and change management. What’s unique about Appreciative Inquiry is that this approach is designed to focus on what’s currently working well and builds off those positive aspects.
In both small and large scale initiatives, Appreciative Inquiry can be used as an effective method to manage and implement change.
What’s fascinating about this approach, is that is focuses on utilizing strengths to solve problems. This is a different approach as most individuals are accustomed to deficit-based approach. Meaning we focus on what is going wrong in order to determine what can be improved.
Contrarily, Appreciative Inquiry focuses on what is going right and highlights the past successes to push efforts forward. This change approach is built off everything that is going well in the current state. With organizations all over the world, it has been proven that this approach leads to high performing individuals, teams and departments as it motivates and reinforces what is currently going well and brings to life how those successes can be enhanced. In addition, it allows those involved to reflect on positive experiences, strengthens present day relationships and truly builds from within.
The Appreciative Inquiry Model is known as the 4-D cycle and includes 4 phases:
Discovery, Dream, Design and Destiny
Discovery: Allows those involved to really reflect on what is currently going well and what the underlining strengths are.
Dream: Focuses heavily on future envisioning and what the stakeholders really want moving forward.
Design: Participants focus on current successes in order to create high impact strategies for the future.
Destiny: The final stage in which plans are put to action.
Appreciative Inquiry is truly a refreshing approach to managing change. If you are interested and what to learn more, check out the following book to learn how it works best in practice.