Appreciative Inquiry & Foundations in Positive Change TheoryDavid Cooperrider at WAIC 2012Weatherhead School of ManagementCase Western Reserve UniversityDavid.Cooperrider@Case.Edu
A Special Time in Our Field: Re-thinking Human Organization and ChangeBirth of Ai Theory! Treasure hunt for a world full of meaning! “Mere measurement effect”?! Call for generative theoryPositive Revolution in Research! Three pillars of positive psychology! Positive PERMA! Transformational Positivity Whole System Excellence—agility, speed, innovation, confident execution; the question of SCALE. Not top down? Not bottom up?
Foundations in Appreciative Inquiry Concepts, Cases and Stories, Tools for Application What is Appreciative Inquiry— AI ? Its not the strongest ofHow does it unlock the the species that survive power of INNOVATION nor the most intelligent, inspired by strengths? but the ones most Social construction? responsive to change." ---Charles Darwin Where might an AIapproach multiply valuein work and business— and in your life?
Social Contructionism• Assumption of impermanence• No laws …social realities not fixed• Terms not derived from what is there• No such thing as immaculate perception … all knowing is saturated in values, conventions, theories, time and place• Modes of explanation: are derived in relationship• Words create worlds, they are not mirrors• All social action open to multiple meanings• Theory is language & the double hermenuetic• Alterations in linguistic practice are powerful
Peter Drucker…an interview I didwith him on The Next Society The task of leadership is to create an alignment of strengths…making a system s weaknesses irrelevant .
Could it Be… Leading Change Might Be All About Strengths?• Why would strength connected to strength…create change?! Its often been said that strengths perform, but how about the idea that…. strengths do more than perform, they transform?! What would it mean to create an entire change theory around strengths?
1. A highpoint moment in organizational life?a. Share the story: the most memorable parts of the initiative, including challenges and innovations.b. Reflect on: root causes of successc. You…what were youre 3 best qualities, or experienced strengths?
2. When do people feel most passionate? Signature strengths?A. Your observations and experiences of _______When do people feel most passionate and connected at ____? Can you share an example: a hot team ; great innovation; high engagement and performance?B. Your Organization s Signature Strengths (continuity question): assuming ________ will change in the future, what are those best qualities–signature strengths, and managerial assets, etc --that you would want to keep or build upon, even as _______ moves into a new and changing future?! An example of those strengths in action?
3. Images of the Future (Your Organization in 2020)! We wake up…it is 2020…what do you see that is new, different, changed, better?! I will be most proud of ________ in 2020 when…?
Opening Interview (Ai conversation in pairs)! A-->B (15 min)! B-->A (15 min)! Spirit of discovery— strengths, aspirations, opportunities, results! Take brief notes! At the end.. summary & thanks! Return @
Many Science of the Disciplines Human StrengthsPositive images—research positive health, cultures!Positive perception—pygmalian research!Positive words—inner dialogue research!Positive emotions—hope, inspiration, joy!Positive stories—narrative, language of life!Positive energy—high quality connections!Positive leadership and learning—strength-based inquiry and engagement—FEEDFORWARD!!See http://ai.cwru.edu !Cooperrider s article: Positive Image, Positive Action!
Positivity Changes How Your Mind WorksPositivity Builds ResourcesPositivity Has An Undoing EffectPositivity Builds Resilience & Longer LifePositivity Obeys A Tipping Point: 3:1 or BetterPositivity Is a Means to Better EndsPositivity Can Be Cultivated Fredrickson (1998). Review of General Psychology, 2, 300-319. Fredrickson (2001). American Psychologist, 56, 218-226. Fredrickson (2003). American Scientist, 91, 330-335.
Losada s New Research on High Performing Business TeamsHIGH PERFORMING LOW PERFOMING+ 6:1 ratio of positive– 1:3 ratio: one positive (strength-based and statement in the team for opportunity) focused every three deficiency dialogue to negative focused statements. (deficiency focus) dialogue.+2:1 ratio of inquiry (learning 1:20 ratio: one inquiry (open- focused questions) versus learning type questions) advocacy (closed positions) for every twenty remarks type conversation. based on advocacy.
Quick conversation…! What areas--placebo, pygmalion, positive health studies, the inner dialogue, what good are positive emotions , rise and fall of cultures, positive energy, affirmative capability (bowling studies etc)—are most interesting to you?! Other research? An experience from your workplace and your life?
The Strength of Strength- Based Leadership is Obvious? The Positive Psychology Research Revolution But Does it Translate to Life? The 20/80 Data Set
Deficit Theory of Change—It sPervasive Most schools, companies, families and organizations " Identify problem function on an unwritten " Conduct root cause rule… analysis " Brainstorm " Let s fix what s wrong and analyze possibilities and let the strengths take care of themselves " Action plans/Treatment --Gallop PollMetaphor: Organizations are " The 80% Focus on problems-to-be-solved Weaknesses: AACF—Which Would You Spend Most Time On?
Unintended consequences of chronic deﬁcit discourse:! " Fragmentation! " Sisyphus syndrome— exhaustion—no new vision ! " The experts must know : increases in hierarchy! " Spirals in deﬁcit language! " Isolation—hard relationships! " Closed door meetings/fear! " What is your “ROA?”!
Think about your last 6 meetings: How many of those meetings were convened to solve the problem of… ?Can you guess the bestseller management book-- ofall time?
Moving From Strength to Strength What Would We Call It?What about the kind of change that is not just about moving from a -2 back to a 0 ? What about the kind of change that moves from a +2 to a + 20? How?
Hunter-Douglas Long Term Outcomes• Yields surge to 98.5%--$10-12 million revenue• Turnover hovers at ≤15% down from 42%• $25MM in cost savings during AI work• Multiple-year winner of the STAR award• Top 10 Places to Work
Appreciative Inquiry is a Shift No problem can be solved from the same level ofconsciousness that created it. We must learn tosee the world anew.- --Albert EinsteinThe real act of discovery consists not in findingnew lands but seeing with new eyes. --Marcel Proust
Ap-pre ci-ate, v.,1. Valuing … – The act of recognizing the best in people and the world around us; – Affirming past and present strengths, successes, and potentials; – To perceive those things that give life (health, vitality, and excellence) to living systems.2. To increase in value, e.g. the economy has appreciated in value. – Synonyms: valuing, prizing, esteeming, and honoring.
In-quire (kwir), v.,1. The act of exploration and discovery.2. To ask questions; to be open to seeing new potentials and possibilities. – Synonyms: discovery, search, study and systematic exploration.
What Would You Call It?(All These Things Taken Together)• Achievements • Core Competency• Strategic opportunities • Visions of Opportunity• Technical assets • Vital traditions• Innovations • Positive macro-trends• Elevated Thoughts • Blue Ocean Markets• Best Practices • Natural Capital• Positive Emotions • Strengths of the• Financial Assets Business ecosystem• Tacit Wisdom e.g. value chain -- suppliers, partners,• Brand Value customers
The AI 4-D Model of Positive Change Discovery What gives life? The best of what is. Appreciating Destiny Dream How to empower, Affirmative What might be?learn, and improvise? Topic Envisioning Sustaining Results/Impact Design What should be – the ideal? Co-constructing
Form Groups 2+2+2 + 2=8…return _____ Introduce your partners vis-à-vis your interviews—share highlights….Everyone listen for patterns/insights in three areas:1. High Point Stories : And Analysis Root Causes of Success?2. Continuity themes : Things Best, To Keep , Signature Strengths3. Images of the Future: Key Visions 2020
1. HIGH POINTS 2. WHEN ARE 3. IMAGES OFPatterns & PEOPLE MOST THE FUTURE WEThemes PASSIONATE? WANT—WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE IN 2020 CONTINUITY: THINGS TO KEEP EVEN AS Now create a WE CHANGE: Time Magazine Headline about_____________ the new human(Be ready to share organization—at least one best what’s the bigstory from group—plus themes) news cover story?
Exciting Application Arenas Appreciative Inquiry & Strength-based OD ♦ AI Summit and Mini-Summits ♦ Strategic Services ♦ Hot Teams and Collaborative DESIGN • Technology Co-creation ♦ Sustainable Enterprise & Going Green ♦ AI Knowledge Alliances Ovationet ♦ Appreciative Metrics ♦ Project Management Tools♦ Executive Coaching and High Engagement Org. ♦ Mergers & Alliances ♦ Internal and External Branding ♦ Strengths Based Leadership Training
Step One at Center of 4-D Model: Topic Choice! Organizations move in the direction of what they study.! Questions we ask determine what we find. . . ! Topic choice is fateful
Most AI Type OrganizationalStudies Have 3-5 Topics ! Principle of Simultaneity ! Art of Framing and Re-framing seeing the mighty oak in the acorn --Tojo Thachenkery
Best Way to Build High Engagement and Enthusiasm?! Do an organization survey of low morale?! Magnify and learn from moments of highest engagement & commitment?
Do we really ??? want to do one more study of… ! Or…a high commitment! Low morale sense of ownership! High turnover ! Or…. magnetic work environment! Excessive baggage loss ! Or… outstanding arrival experiences! Lack of follow-through and execution ! Or… instinctive execution! Customer complaints ! Or… revolutionary customer responsiveness! resistance; what are the ! Or… moments of things getting in the way unstoppable confidence