“If you want to build a ship, don't drum up men to gather wood, give orders and divide the work. Rather, teach them to yearn for the far and endless sea.”

Appreciative Inquiry

  • “Appreciative Inquiry is, essentially, a collaborative and highly participative, system wide approach to seeking, identifying and enhancing the ‘life giving forces’ that are present when a system is performing optimally in human, economic and organizational terms. It is a journey during which profound knowledge of a human system at its moments of wonder is uncovered and used to co-construct the best and highest possible future of that system.
  • Our use of the term ‘appreciative’ emphasizes the idea that when something increases in value, it ‘appreciates’. Therefore ‘appreciative inquiry’ is inquiry that focuses on the generative and life giving forces in the system that are the things we want to increase. By ‘inquiry’ we mean the process of seeking to understand through asking questions.”
Appreciative Inquiry: Change at the Speed of the Imagination, 2nd Edition - Jane Magruder Watkins, Bernard Mohr & Ralph Kelly
  • “AI involves, in a central way, the art and practice of asking questions that strengthen a system’s capacity to apprehend, anticipate and heighten positive potential. It centrally involves the mobilization of inquiry through the crafting of the ‘unconditionally positive question’ often involving hundreds and sometimes thousands of people.”
A Positive Revolution in Change – David Cooperrider
  • “In AI the arduous task of intervention gives way to the speed of the imagination and innovation. Instead of negation, criticism, and spiralling diagnosis, there is discovery, dream and design. AI seeks fundamentally to build a constructive union between a whole people and the massive entirety of what people talk about as past and present capacities: achievements, assets, unexplored potentials, innovations, strengths, elevated thoughts, opportunities, benchmarks, high point moments, lived values, traditions, strategic competencies, stories, expressions of wisdom, insights into deeper corporate spirit or soul – and visions of valued and possible futures.”
  • Cooperrider and Whitney 2005

A growing number of public and private sector organisations have used Appreciative Inquiry to engage partner agencies, service users and the public successfully in creating positive change and excellent services. We have developed this model to support teams, organisations and partnerships in the public sector in responding effectively to the challenging new agendas for change, joint working, leadership, workforce development and performance improvement.

Our approach will help you to:

  • Identify and build on existing and combined strengths
  • Work with the ‘whole system’ to achieve transformational change
  • Enhance morale & motivate staff
  • Design and deliver excellent services
  • Strengthen and enhance the culture 'the way things are done around here'
  • Review, evaluate, plan and develop ahead of the game

To gain a sense of the huge impact of AI being used in the world of business transformation, take a moment to view the Hunter Douglas video on the Appreciative Inquiry Commons website. (You will need Real Player to view this video.)