Appreciative Inquiry

Appreciative Inquiry (AI)

What is AI?

Appreciative Inquiry is a philosophy developed by David Cooperrider in the 1980s; since then, it has evolved into an approach and a framework to help teams and organisations become more efficient, focused, and productive. This collaborative approach starts by identifying and understanding an organisation’s strengths, its greatest opportunities, and people’s aspirations for the future. It then creates the framework to design the systems, processes and organisation that will enable that future, and to create a plan to get there.

A good AI intervention builds on the power of inquiry and storytelling – words create worlds. It is inclusive; all stakeholders participate in addressing the challenge and co-creating the future. It is strengths-based; every person’s and organisation’s largest areas of growth are their areas of strength. And it is inspirational; human change, whether it is on a personal level or on a larger scale, requires a lot of positive emotions.

But most importantly, a successful AI intervention is generative. It creates the capacity to think differently about issues, and to create new ideas and new ways of dealing with them.

The AI cycle is composed of four phases, each of them building on the previous.

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How is AI used in business?

AI is successfully used to address a wide range of challenges in all area of business, such as:

  • strategic planning;
  • leadership development;
  • people management;
  • process redesign;
  • new product development;
  • alliances and joint ventures; and
  • organisational culture change.

An AI intervention can be as short as a meeting, as wide as a survey, and as holistic as a whole organisation summit. Most often, depending on the challenge, we recommend starting with a 2-3-day workshop. Contact us for further details on how we can help you.

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