A vivid imagination compels the whole body – Aristotle
Imagination is more important than knowledge – Einstein
Appreciative Inquiry is an approach to change that focuses on strengths, successes and positives rather than problems and negatives. It can be followed by individuals, teams and/or organisations. Strategies that make this approach unique include the actions of esteeming, prizing, valuing, honouring, affirming and evolving (as opposed to fault finding).
Objectives of Appreciative Inquiry
This activity provides a basis for developing the following key skills:
Critical thinking in relation to Appreciative Inquiry
Use of technology
Personal change management
On completion of this module you should be able to:
Critically reflect on Appreciative Inquiry as it relates to you and learning agenda
Understand more about your strengths and how these support your change management aims
Share your reflective activities with your support partners using a webfolio
To complete the activity Appreciative Inquiry successfully we expect you to have:
Engaged with the material provided on Appreciative Inquiry including the additional reading
Contributed to the discussion on Appreciative Inquiry
Reflected on the impact of applying Appreciative Inquiry within your own life
Created a web folio for your PebblePad reflections
Additional reading and resources can be found on the Appreciative Inquiry Commons Website - http://appreciativeinquiry.case.edu/
An example of the application of AI in a School context can be seen in this document - http://appreciativeinquiry.case.edu/practice/bibAiStoriesDetail.cfm?coid=2299
Now proceed with Appreciative Inquiry
Think about your approach to identifying and dealing with change now and compare it with the view of Dr. David Cooperidge, one of the co-creators of the Appreciative Inquiry approach to change. In this short clip he introduces his view of positive change.
Youtube video URL - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPXlS2qgt3w&feature=related embed code
Now look back at examples of change within your life and ask yourself did you focus on what was wrong, what needed fixing or did you look for what was right and what worked well? Be as honest as you can. Write down your responses, these will feature in later activities.
Now go to What is Appreciative Inquiry.
What is Appreciative Inquiry (AI)?
Start by watching this short video which introduces AI
We will look at how to apply the approach in a little while so first let’s look at this model. From the video you will have gathered that it is primarily used as a tool for organisational change however it can be applied to individuals as well. It carries strong messages about change models that focus on the positive core of the thing under review. It also complements the Boyatzis approach which emphasises focusing the greater part of your energies on your strengths.
What is AI contd?
Choosing to identify the positives immediately forces you to stop thinking about what doesn’t work and look for times and situations where things did work. This is important for that part of the process in which questions are framed and successes are shared.
A western educational & business tradition that stresses:
- critical thinking - critiquing
- adversarial thinking - confrontation
- testing one viewpoint against the other to find the strongest
We focus almost exclusively on advocacy
- presenting our views and arguing strongly for them
- debating forcefully to influence others
Most managers are trained to be advocates
A complementary skill to advocacy that:
seeks to uncover information about why a particular view is held
asks questions about underlying assumptions, beliefs, reasoning
- why do you believe this ?
- what logic leads to this conclusion ?
- what facts and data do you have ?
- what examples or past experience exists ?
Supported by attitude of wanting to understand, explore, learn, expand
Not a technique to cross examine people or find fault
What is Appreciative Inquiry?
Ap-pre’ci-ate , v., recognize and value the contributions or attributes of things and people around us . In-quire’ (kwir), v., explore and discover, in the spirit of seeking to better understand, and being open to new possibilities.
How it works
First, understand the positive core of a living system (yourself, your school). What makes it most effective and vital, in personal, professional and learning terms?
We move in the direction of our deepest and most frequently asked questions.
Positive guiding images of the future trigger action in the present.
Images are found in our dialogue with both ourselves and each other.
Ratio of positive to negative statements is a success factor for change.
Individuals & groups can then weave the best of what is into formal and informal practices.
This new approach to change, based on the power of the positive question, has emerged from revolutions in many fields
When organizations or groups capture positive imagery internally and make it visible, it starts to drive change in an individualistic, self-directed way. It creates a focus
Our image of the future drives our ACTION! Pygmalion Effect Change a teacher’s image of a student, and their behavior changes toward the student, improving student performance Sports Vivid visualization of one’s performance guides physical performance. Speed of learning when only correct images are reviewed . Internal Conversations Studies of pre and post operative patients. Difference in recovery between positive and negative imagery. Sociology The study of problems creates an increase in number & severity of problems. But opposite also occurs . Placebo Effect Help someone construct an image of how something might happen, and it drives behavior which creates a change in that direction
Problem Solving vs AI
What to grow
New grammar of the true, good, better, possible
“ Problem focus” implies that there is an ideal. AI breaks open the box of what the ideal is first.
Expands vision of preferred future. Creates new energy fast.
Assumes organizations are sources of infinite capacity and imagination
Breaks things into pieces & specialties, guaranteeing fragmented responses
Slow! Takes a lot of positive emotion to make real change.
Assumes organizations are constellations of problems to be overcome
The 4D Appreciative Inquiry Model Decide what the topic should be
Questions to help you start AI
Think about a career or personal highpoint associated with either leading change or introducing innovation; how did that feel, what made it a success, what were your strengths…
What do you value about yourself, your work, your life
If you had three wishes for yourself what would they be?
Imagine a time five years hence when your dream had come true, what would this look like?
The Dream School
Further Reading on Appreciative Inquiry
The following article by Cooperridge and Whitney offers a good introduction to Appreciative Inquiry - http://appreciativeinquiry.case.edu/uploads/whatisai.pdf
A short, useful and cheap introductory text on AI is “Appreciative Inquiry A revolution in Change” by David L. Cooperridge and Diana Whitney. Readable and available from Amazon (about £8). Pages 7-10 give a brief introduction to the approach and pages 11-18 give a helpful of how to apply AI.
Look at the website for Appreciative Inquiry Commons - http://appreciativeinquiry.case.edu/
This is an extensive set of information and resources for Appreciative Inquiry. I suggest that you make sure that look at the following elements:
Practice & Management / Organizational Sectors / Education
Practice & Management / AI Tools / Models and PowerPoint slides (There are many useful things here; a useful fact sheet titled Appreciative Inquiry – An Overview by Kendy Rossi provides a good summary.)
Appreciative Inquiry Exercise
Identify a career or personal highpoint associated with either leading change or introducing innovation:
Share the most memorable parts of the initiative including challenges, innovations and changes with your support network
Reflect on what were the ’root causes of success..’
What were your three best qualities or experienced strengths
Envisioning the future:
You wake up and it is 2015. What do you see about you that is new, different, changed, better….
Appreciative Inquiry helps to focus the core process of PLC module on your strengths and this is reflected in the assessment, which requires you to reflect on how you use this model (or similar) as part of your process of self-assessment and personal curriculum design.
The relevant part of the assessment asks you to produce a:
Reflection on the process of personalised curriculum development that you have engaged in, including coverage of the following areas a. The process of self-assessment and self-auditing leading to the identification of your particular development needs. This should include consideration of the profiling you have undertaken against professional body competencies as well as personal audits of areas such as personality and preference; b. Your use of the Intentional Change Model or similar to identify your development needs and plan your future actions Begin now to think about this question. How do you see the Intentional Change Model helping you identify an appropriate learning agenda and learning opportunities? How might you use the Models to help support your learning in the future? How can you manage the personal change that you may face through committing to a personal learning agenda?
Thinking back over the AI exercise, Unit 2 and your work with the Intentional Change model, describe yourself as a person: what are your strengths, what will you be challenged by? What changes do you need to make now to bridge the gap between your dream and the current situation? How can you ensure you remain committed to choices you make?
Write or record a reflection on this in your ePortfolio, addressing if you can the assessment questions. When you have done this, create a new web folio to store your reflections and share them with your support network.
You should now have completed the tasks for this Activity including the Reflective Activity.
Before you finish, review the initial reflection you wrote at the beginning of the activity on your approach to identifying and dealing with change. Would you still deal with change in the same way?
You have now completed Activity 8. Move onto Activity 9 when you are ready.