If you have not already heard of Appreciative Inquiry, check out AI Commons and learn a bit about AI and it?s founder?David Cooperrider.? I first became acquainted with AI from a colleague; that inspired me to attend the AI Conference in Orlando Florida in 2008.? Since then, I use the principles of AI regularly in the work I do with organizations.? This summer, I took extensive training with Jane Magruder Watkins and Maureen McKenna on using the theory of AI in practice.
Here?s a quick peek at?the principles of AI:
- organizations (and the humans within) grow in the direction of their most frequent inquiries; when we appreciate what is best about ourselves and each other, and ask questions about that, we get more of what?s best
- we learn about and create more success by asking ?what is the root cause of success??? (as opposed to creating more?failure by asking ?what is the root cause of our failure??
- we get higher performance by focusing on our strengths, rather than ?fixing? our weaknesses (inquiring about weaknesses begets more weaknesses)
- our inquiries are fateful?the questions we ask set the stage for what we find; instead of asking ?what is stopping us from being successful?, we need to?ask ?what is contributing to our success??
- our perceptions determine reality (not the other way around)
- we socially contruct our organizations (and families, and world); our interactions are the source for what is true for us; so AI requires that the entire system (organization, family) participate in the process
- we create what we imagine?we will notice what we anticipate, positive or negative, so anticipating a positive image of ourselves, each other, and our organizations, helps us to create that reality
- the phases of AI are Discovery (inquiring about what?s right, what our strengths are, what is occurring when we are at our best); Dream (imagining our organization as we desire it in the future); Design (identifying the elements that will construct the dream organization); and Destiny (realizing our destiny, as we have constructed it)
There is much evidence that what we think about affects our actions which in turn determine our reality.? Most of us would agree?with this idea.??Now we have the practice of Appreciative Inquiry which provides us with a process?that works!