What is Appreciative Inquiry

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a way of looking at organisational change which focuses on doing more of what is already working, rather than focusing on fixing problems. It mobilises strategic change by focusing on the core strengths of an organisation, then using those strengths to reshape the future.

AI is both a high-participation learning process to identify and disseminate best practices, and a way of managing and working that fosters positive communication and can result in the formation of deep and meaningful relationships

AI was developed by David Cooperrider and his associates at Case Western Reserve University in the mid-eighties. His wife Nancy, an artist, told him about the “appreciative eye” – an idea that assumes that in every piece of art there is beauty. AI applies this principle to business.

How It Works

Appreciative Inquiry begins with analysing the “positive core” of an organisation (or a person) and then links this knowledge to the heart of the strategic change agenda.

The very act of asking a question influences the worldview of the person who is asked. Because human systems move toward what they persistently ask questions about, Appreciative Inquiry involves the deliberate discovery of everything that gives a system “life” when it is most effective in performance and human terms.

When we link the positive core directly to a strategic agenda, changes never thought possible are rapidly mobilised while simultaneously building enthusiasm, corporate confidence, and human energy.