Appreciative Inquiry (An effective approach to managing change)

Appreciative Inquiry also referred to as AI is a strengths based approach to organizational development and change. What’s so unique about Appreciative Inquiry, is that this approach is designed to focus on the positive core whether it’s on an individual basis such as life coaching, in a team development atmosphere or within your organization as a whole.

In both small and large scale initiatives, Appreciative Inquiry can be used as an effective method to manage and implement change.

What I find to be so fascinating about this approach, is that it’s main focal point is on strengths and utilizing the strengths in a situation to solve problems. For most, this is a very different form of problem solving as we are accustomed to a deficit-based approach. Naturally, we first look at what is going wrong in order to determine what can first be improved. On the other hand, AI heavily focuses on what is going right and highlights the past successes to push efforts forward. It builds it’s change approach 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, strengthen present day relationships, and build from within.

The AI Process, known as the 4-D cycle 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 interested, check out the following book to learn more about AI and how it works best in practice.

Appreciative Inquiry Handbook

The Appreciative Inquiry Handbook: For Leaders of Change