by David Cooper...
core missions, intent, and direction. It is an exciting, challenging, and meaningful
            direction which helps giv...
⇒       Is it stated in affirmative and bold terms?

⇒       Does it follow a social architecture approach (e.g. 7 - S mod...
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Crafting prov propos2-02


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Crafting prov propos2-02

  1. 1. CONSTRUCTING PROVOCATIVE PROPOSITIONS by David Cooperrider The aim of Appreciative Inquiry is to help the organization in: 1. Envisioning a collectively desired future, and 2. Carrying forth that vision in ways that successfully translate intention into reality, and beliefs into practices. Appreciative Inquiry begins with the selection of some affirmatively stated topic - for example, cooperation - and then proceeds with a study of the organization, guided by these three basic questions: 1. What is cooperation, and when and where has cooperation been at its best in this organization? 2. What makes cooperation (between individuals, groups, departments, etc.) possible? 3. What are the possibilities that enhance or maximize the potential for cooperation? CONSTRUCTING PROVOCATIVE PROPOSITIONS A provocative proposition is a statement that bridges the best of “what is” with your own speculation or intuition of “what might be”. It is provocative to the extent to which it stretches the realm of the status quo, challenges common assumptions or routines, and helps suggest real possibilities that represent desired possibilities for the organization and its people. In many ways, constructing provocative propositions is like architecture. Your task is to create a set of propositions about the ideal organization: what would our organization look like if it were designed in every way, to maximize and preserve the topics we’ve chosen to study. Organizational elements or factors you may wish to include: STRATEGY STRUCTURES SYSTEMS STYLE SHARED VALUES SKILLS STAKEHOLDER RELATIONS SOCIETAL PURPOSES STAFF Sample Propositions: Company Y is poised for a positive future because: 1. Partners at all regions share a basic common vision in relation to the firms
  2. 2. core missions, intent, and direction. It is an exciting, challenging, and meaningful direction which helps give all partners a feeling of significance, purpose, pride, and unity. The firm uses whatever time and resources are needed to bring everyone on board and thus continuously cultivates “the thrill of having a one firm feeling”, of being a valued member of one outstanding national partnership. 2. Fairmount North American has created an organization where everyone experiences themselves as owners of the business-- where everyone at all levels feels the organization is theirs to improve, change, and help become what it can potentially become. Fairmount recognizes there is a big difference between owners versus hired hands. Ownership, at Fairmount, happens in three ways: (1) on an economic level where everyone is a shareholder and shares in the profit, (2) on a psychological level it happens because people are authentically involved, and (3) on a business level when the “big picture” purpose is shared by all, and all take part at the strategic level of business planning. Sample Possibility Proposition: Fairmount North America has become a learning organization that fosters the cross fertilization of ideas, minimizes the building of empires, harnesses the synergy of group cooperation, and cultivates the pride of being a valued member of one outstanding corporation. Fairmount accelerates its learning through an annual strategic planning conference that involves all five hundred people in the firm. As a setting for “strategic learning” teams present their benchmarking studies of the best five other organizations, deemed best in their class for the process we are seeking to learn about. Other teams present an annual appreciative analysis of Fairmount, and together these databases of success stories (internal and external) help set the stage for our strategic, future search planning. CONSTRUCTING PROVOCATIVE PROPOSITIONS (Positive Images of the Ideal Organization) Key Considerations CRITERIA FOR GOOD PROPOSITIONS: ⇒ Is it provocative ... does it stretch, challenge, or interrupt? ⇒ Is it grounded ... are there examples that illustrate the ideal as real possibility? ⇒ Is it desired ... if it could be fully actualized would the organization want it? Do you want it as a preferred future?
  3. 3. ⇒ Is it stated in affirmative and bold terms? ⇒ Does it follow a social architecture approach (e.g. 7 - S model, etc.)? ⇒ Does it expand the zone of “proximal development”? • Use of 3rd party (outside appreciative eye) • Complimented with Benchmarking Data ⇒ Is it a High Involvement Process? ⇒ Is it used to stimulate Intergenerational Organizational Learning? ⇒ Is there balanced management of: Continuity, Novelty, Transition?