Appreciative Inquiry

Imagine appreciating the difficult problems each of us has AND also appreciating the exhilarating strength and wisdom within each of us to create a better future in which we live our values to the fullest.

Appreciative Inquiry is a process in which we appreciate everything that is happening and then choose to focus on the positive and enlivening. We talk about our past successes, we develop themes from the skills and values we showed in those past successes, and then we create serious dreams for the future. We dream of doing more of what we do best. We take our dream seriously by being very specific about who does what by when to make the serious dream happen.

Appreciative Inquiry is a process based on a wide range of research into how people change their lives and change their organisations. Many of us who do this kind of work (including me) have been doing Appreciative Inquiry for many years—even before the research was done and the term was created.

We use the Appreciative Inquiry process with individuals, with teams, and with top management to renew organisations with fit-for-purpose teams.

For more background on Appreciative Inquiry—and a list of other references—see the chapter I wrote about it with two colleagues.