Appreciative Leadership Plenary WAIC 2012


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Keynote presentation at the World Appreciative Inquiry Conference, Ghent, Belgium, 2012.

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  • Appreciation and acknowledgement of all that has evolved with AI.We have met in places such as: India, Nepal, Italy, Korea, Japan, Chile, Cuba, Sweden, all across the US, Canada, Caribbean, South Africa
  • Tom White Story – you are creating a positive revolution in this organization and it can’t be stopped.My goal today is to tell you how to lead a positive revolution in your organization. One which sparks the creativity and commitment that you need to grow your business.
  • AI – transforming the macro practices of human organizing and changePositive Psychology – return to the roots of psychology as the science of the human spiritStrengths – radical changes in what we know about human performance and development
  • And old metaphors – leadership as a contact sport!
  • AI – transforming the macro practices of human organizing and changePositive Psychology – return to the roots of psychology as the science of the human spiritStrengths – radical changes in what we know about human performance and development
  • Doctor who said what convinces patients is not data but courageous storiesCarolyn Lukensmeyer – America Speaks --- Improbable, Voiceless, Invisible are all included.
  • Imagine: Leadership of the conference, then Leaders of the conference…
  • Mike Burns HD VP of HR. We really are in the business of growing people, we do it by making products.Dave Erich’s story teaching his daughter to driveJanet, Chief of Staff at ACT…
  • Positive Power – the ability to turn potential into positive results. The ability to act or produce an effect. The ability to perform effectively.This lead to our definition of Appreciative Leadership – gotta read the bookAnd 5 strategies
  • Relational, its not about you, its about how you interact with others to create a great story…For Positive Power – turning potential into positive results.
  • Human systems move in the direction of what they regularly and consistently study.The easiest way to ask a powerful question is to put your values into your questions. Like the story of the illustrates.Tell Brian’s story.
  • Ancient Greek talked about the genius, or the spirit of a group that came forth when everyone was there.Idaho State Department of Education – Services for Students who are Deaf and BlindGeorge’s story.
  • The Paradox – Seeking common ground leads to differentiation and often times conflict.
  • AI – transforming the macro practices of human organizing and changePositive Psychology – return to the roots of psychology as the science of the human spiritStrengths – radical changes in what we know about human performance and development
  • The StrengthsFinder™ instrument was developed by interviewing more than 2 million people from all walks of life (e.g., teachers, managers, doctors, athletes, stockbrokers, accountants, housekeepers, soldiers, nurses, pastors, CEOs). From these interviews they developed 34 strengths.Are made up of Talents, knowledge and skills.
  • What percentage of a typical day do you spend playing to your strengths?” 17% of people say most of the timeThat’s less than 2 out of 10 people!
  • Appreciative Intelligence – “The acorn in the mighty oak tree”Do you look for what works well? Do you look for strengths?Eliza Doolittle to the Professor in My Fair Lady, Treat me like a lady and I will become a lady; treat me like a flower girl and I will be a flower girl.Ability to see strengths, be a strengths spotter
  • Tell me about a time when you felt healthy.
  • AI – transforming the macro practices of human organizing and changePositive Psychology – return to the roots of psychology as the science of the human spiritStrengths – radical changes in what we know about human performance and development
  • All change required large amounts of positive emotions, energy and enthusiasm, especially hope.Hope = Will power and Way power.Inspiration requires a positive emotional environment, vision and a path forward.
  • Leadership is a Sacred Trust And there is one answer that is always the right answer, and that is LOVE.
  • “Creating a world that works for all, one book at a time.”Steve Piersanti, President, Berrett-Koehler Publishers
  • One last thing to remember. There is always a right answer and that answer is always LOVE
  • Appreciative Leadership Plenary WAIC 2012

    1. 1. Diana Whitney, Ph.D.
    2. 2. Thomas Jefferson “Every organization needs a positive revolution.”Diana Whitney, Ph.D. 2
    3. 3. Dream Catcher You must learn to live and work in the Energetically Positive. Understand and do what gives life to the people.Diana Whitney, Ph.D. 3
    4. 4. Appreciative Leadership: The Nexus of Three Revolutionary Fields Appreciative Inquiry Positive Strengths Psychology MovementDiana Whitney, Ph.D. 4
    5. 5. The Leadership Challenge Today  IBM Global Chief Executive Officer Study 2010.  Over 1500 CEOs Worldwide Interviewed.  Biggest challenge:complexity of a global environment.  Single most important leadership competency:creativity.  Successful organizations co-create products and services with customers. They integrate customers into core business processes.  Better performing organizations manage complexity through operational dexterity.Diana Whitney, Ph.D. 5
    6. 6. Appreciative Inquiry: A Process for the Age of Co-Creativity  Many leaders today have visions and values that are incongruent with old paradigm methodologies.  They are in search of new paradigm processes and methodologies for leadership, innovation and change.  Appreciative Inquiry answers the call.  What problem solving was to the industrial age; Appreciative Inquiry is to the co-creative age.Diana Whitney, Ph.D. 6
    7. 7. Appreciative InquiryDiana Whitney, Ph.D. 7
    8. 8. AI Invites a Reconfiguration of … 1. Logics and Language  From Deficit to Strength Based Logics and Language  Root Cause of Success, WWW, Positive Problem Solving 2. Lens on Performance  From Individualistic, Behavioral Lens to a Systemic, Relational Lens 3. Ways of Knowing and Evidence  To Quantitative Metrics we add Qualitative Experiences, Personal Stories and Metaphors 4. Voice of Authority  From Few to Many to the WholeDiana Whitney, Ph.D. 8
    9. 9. Leadership Narratives  Systemic and relational, not individualistic.  Leadership of this conference…  Leaders of this conference…  Are about how and why things happen – or don’t.  Performances, Strategies, Ways of Doing Things, Processes, Resources, Relationships and Results What is your Story of Leadership of Successful Appreciative Inquiry Initiatives?Diana Whitney, Ph.D. 9
    10. 10. A Mini Interview (5 minutes each)  Turn to one other person and ask:  Reflect upon a successful AI initiative and its Leadership. It can be a project you have been part of, or one that you have heard about – large or small. Tell me about it.  Describe the leadership.  How did leadership contribute to this success?  How did it bring out the best of the people involved?  What do you most respect about this leadership?  What words and phrases best describe this leadership?Diana Whitney, Ph.D. 10
    11. 11. What are some of the most innovative and meaningful words and phrases that you heard used to describe Leadership?Diana Whitney, Ph.D. 11
    12. 12. Leadership of Successful AI Initiatives  Active participation of people at all levels and functions with other members of their organization and community to create a better way.  Openness and enjoyment in the surprise of learning.  Caring about people. The purpose of their organization as helping people develop and have a better life.  Truly believe and practice the power of the positive.Diana Whitney 12
    13. 13. Our Research:What kind of leadership brings out your best andcreates a high performance work environment?Answer: Positive Power Making a Positive Difference Recognition & Appreciation Focus on What Works Well Positive Attitudes & EmotionsDiana Whitney, Ph.D. 13
    14. 14. Appreciative Leadership “The relational capacity to mobilize creative potential and turn it into positive power, setting in motion ripples of confidence, energy, enthusiasm, and performance that make a positive difference in the world.” Whitney, Trosten-Bloom and RaderDiana Whitney, Ph.D. 14
    15. 15. Appreciative Leadership: Five Relational Strategies Inquiry Illumination Inclusion Inspiration IntegrityDiana Whitney, Ph.D. 15
    16. 16. The Wisdom of INQUIRY Leadership by Asking Positively Powerful QuestionsDiana Whitney, Ph.D. 16
    17. 17. Diana Whitney, Ph.D. 17
    18. 18. “Tell me about the river that connects you.”Diana Whitney, Ph.D. 18
    19. 19. Diana Whitney, Ph.D. 19
    20. 20. The Genius of INCLUSION Leadership by Engaging with People “Don’t Talk About Me Without Me”Diana Whitney, Ph.D. 20
    21. 21. The Quest for Uniqueness Inquiry into the unique values, strengths, hopes and dreams of seemingly different people is what generates collective wisdom, and leads to the Genius of the Whole.Diana Whitney, Ph.D. 21
    22. 22. An Improbable Group  Idaho State Department of Education  AI Summit – 250 People  Focus: Educational Services for Students who are Deaf and Blind  Sub-Text: Should we close the school?  Who would you include?Diana Whitney, Ph.D. 22
    23. 23. Who Would You Include?  Teachers  Parents  School Administrators  Family Members  Students – Blind and Deaf  Community Members  Adults – Blind and Deaf  Local Board of Education  Governor’s Office  State Dept. of Education  Advocacy Groups  State Legislators  Educators at all Levels  Sign Interpreters  Other States FacingSimilar  Guide Dogs Issues  The Public  Others?Diana Whitney, Ph.D. 23
    24. 24. Outcomes  Consensus Decision to Keep the School  Set of Agreed Upon Recommendations to the State Department of Education  Acceptance and Budgeting of the Recommendations by the State Legislature  Significantly Strengthened Relationships  Greater Parental Involvement  Improved Services for Deaf and Blind StudentsDiana Whitney, Ph.D. 24
    25. 25. Diana Whitney, Ph.D. 25
    26. 26. Strengths MovementDiana Whitney, Ph.D. 26
    27. 27. Strengths “Near perfect  Feel easy. performance in an  Increase excellence, success, activity.” productivity.  Provide a sense of joy, flow, energy, and fulfillment. Now, Discover Your Strengths Buckingham and CliftonDiana Whitney, Ph.D. 27
    28. 28. Excellent Performers  Are rarely well-rounded.  They capitalize on their strengths.  They minimize their weaknesses.  Each person’s greatest room for growth is in his or her areas of greatest strengths. Now, Discover Your Strengths Buckingham and CliftonDiana Whitney, Ph.D. 28
    29. 29. Strengths: Traits or Narratives? Labels StoriesDiana Whitney, Ph.D. 29
    30. 30. The Art of ILLUMINATION Leadership by Bringing Out the Best of People & Situations ‘Interpretative Generosity’Diana Whitney, Ph.D. 30
    31. 31. Practice: Strengths Spotting Thanks to Peter Lang and Elspeth McAdam, KCC, UK 1. Select a partner – improbable partner. 2. Ask your partner to tell you a success story. 3. Listen to discover your partners strengths. 4. Reflect those strengths back to your partner. Reverse Roles 4 Minutes Each - Total Time 8 minutesDiana Whitney, Ph.D. 31
    32. 32. Leadership Strengths Spotting Inquiry 1. Tell me about a personal leadership success, something that you have done in the past few months or year, that gave you great satisfaction and pride. 1. What did you do? 2. Who or what gave you the idea to do this? 3. Who else was involved and how did you relate to them? 4. What else did you do? 5. Tell me more about what you did to make this a success. 2. Based upon your success story, I would say that some of your leadership strengths are…Diana Whitney, Ph.D. 32
    33. 33. Diana Whitney, Ph.D. 33
    34. 34. Positive PsychologyDiana Whitney, Ph.D. 34
    35. 35. PositivityBroaden and Build Theory Dr. Barbara Fredrickson  Broadens Peoples’ Attention and Thinking  Undoes Lingering Negative Emotional Arousal  Creates Resiliency to ChangeDiana Whitney, Ph.D. 35
    36. 36. More of Fredrickson’s Research Positive Emotions & Performance Joy……….……, imagination, experimentation Innovation Interest…...involvement, investigate, explore New Knowledge Optimism.....opportunity, confidence, persevere Achievement Contentment...savor, integrate complex ideas Deeper Insight Love……………..….……….………………connect, relate CooperationDiana Whitney, Ph.D. 36
    37. 37. Positivity Ratio = Flourishing “People flourish in the presence of positive emotions and positive communication.” The Healthy Range is 4+ : 1- ------------- 11+ : 1- MarcialLosada, Chile Successful Teams 5+:1- John and Julie Gottman, Seattle, WA Long Term Successful Marriages 5+:1-Diana Whitney, Ph.D. 37
    38. 38. The Courage of INSPIRATION Leadership by Awakening the Creative Spirit Achievement, change and innovation are all correlated to positive emotions.Diana Whitney, Ph.D. 38
    39. 39. The choice is yours…Diana Whitney, Ph.D. 39
    40. 40. We Are All Intimately Connected.  Our questions, words and choices are fateful.  They create ripples.  Large or small, conscious or unconscious, they influence our lives and the lives of others.Diana Whitney, Ph.D. 40
    41. 41. The Path of INTEGRITY Leadership by Making Choices for the Good of the Whole Whole = Integral = Integrated = Complete = Wholeness Healthy = Healed = Holy = SacredDiana Whitney, Ph.D. 41
    42. 42. “To be on the path of Integrity is to be moving, growing and evolving toward wholeness; and to be supporting and enabling others to do the same.”Diana Whitney, Ph.D. 42
    43. 43. “Make a career of humanity…You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.” Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.Diana Whitney, Ph.D. 43
    44. 44. Five Strategies of Appreciative Leadership 1. Inquiry: Ask Positively Powerful Questions. 2. Inclusion: Invite Improbable Participation. 3. Illumination: Be a Strengths Spotter. 4. Inspiration: Maintain a 5/1 Positivity Ratio. 5. Integrity: Make a Career of Humanity.Diana Whitney, Ph.D. 44
    45. 45. To keep the conversation going… Diana Whitney, Ph.D. Corporation for Positive Change  Consulting  AI Workshops/Training/Certification  Leadership Development  Keynote Speaking Twitter: DianaWhitneyPhD LinkedIn Group: Positive Change PractitionersDiana Whitney, Ph.D. 45