Appreciative Inquiry (AI) An Approach to Organizational and Social Change Sociology 168 – Social Justice Thursday, May 24,2007
Learning Outcomes for Today
What is the key concept of AI?
Overview of AI
How / when did it start?
The (5) core principles
The (5) basic steps
How is it different from other social or organizational change strategies?
When is it useful/appropriate? Not…?
Key Concept of AI
“ Appreciate” + “Inquiry” = ? (See p.4)
Basic Strategy: Find what is working and build on it
Learn from moments of excellence
Focus on the positive
Look where you DO want to go/energy follows attention
Deficit-based change vs. Constr-based change [ ]
Univ Wisconsin study of learning process
Videotaped 2 teams/studied tapes
Different tapes/edited by “mistakes” or “successes”
Both teams improved
Team that studied successes 2x better
Definitions (Interactive: ask students for their understanding)
To recognize the best in people or the world around us;
to affirm past and present strengths;
to perceive those things that GIVE LIFE (excellence, vitality) to living systems
To explore or discover;
to ask questions;
to be open to seeing something new
Reflect on a relationship in your life you might like to change – to be more fun, more positive, more engaged, more useful. It could be a group you belong to, you family or a workplace situation.
What aspect(s) already embody “what you would like to have more of?” What’s already working for you? Could it provide a starting point to move more in that direction? What might a first step in that direction look like?
Share with a neighbor
Overview of AI
How/when did it start
Early 1980’s/David Cooperrider/grad student
Cleveland Clinic/what’s wrong>what’s right
Where is it used?
Schools/communities (Imagine Chicago)
When not to use?
Stakeholders/leadership do not support
Outcomes are pre-determined
Logistics/resources do not permit complete process
How is it different from other models of org. change?
Two contrasting models for organizational change [ ]
Not just “positive thinking”
Five Core Principles
(1) We move in the direction of the images we create and the words we use.
(2) Change starts w/the first question
(3) Present behavior is influenced by the future we anticipate/hope for/seek to create
(4) No boundaries on what we can inquire about and learn from
(5)The more positive the questions, the more effective& longlasting the process will be
Choose the positive as a focus for the inquiry
Inquire into exceptionally positive moments/experiences
Share stories & identify life-giving forces
Create shared images of a preferred future
Innovate & improvise ways to create that future
Overview: Paired Affirmative Interviews
Purpose of this exercise
Distribute guides/review questions
Remember to take notes
Look for best stories, high points & “quotable quotes”
Ten minutes for each person to be interviewed
1-2 minutes to share high points & quotes
Find a partner & go
Interview Guide Best Activist Experience
See free standing guide –PPT format doesn’t work for this
What is one thing that stood out for you today?
What was most valuable aspect of this exercise?
What might you take forward?
What could have been bettr/different?
The Essentials of Appreciative Inquiry : A Roadmap for Creating Positive Futures, Mohn & Watkins