Appreciative Inquiry, often called AI, is a facilitation methodology that asks people, teams and organizations to create the changes they require by creating questions and dialogues that are positive and affirmative. Because the conversations focus on strengths, values, hopes, successes and dreams, they create a positive transformational change.
AI is based on a cyclical process that can be scaled in size from a 1 on 1 through to 2000 plus people summits. It also scales in time from a one hour meeting through to a multi day conference . What ever the scale the core process is always the same and this is known as the 4-D cycle:
To initiate an AI process a topic is required. This topic is expressed in an affirmative way so “super enthuse our customers” rather than “increase customer retention by 8%”.
Discovery – a cooperative search of the “best of what is” and also “what has been”. The search is typically done through 1 on 1 conversations between organizational members with the results being shared with others. Focus groups and large group meeting can also be used. AI discovery conversations often include external stakeholder and “best in class” or benchmark organizations.
Dream – an energizing exploration of “what might be”. Typically they are large group sessions to envision powerful and future possibilities that create creates a collective vision and bonds people together for an elevated sense of purpose.
Design – provocative propositions that outline “what should be” are the focus of this phase. In this part the organizational members craft provocative statements that create a clearer image of how the organizations strategies, processes, systems, decisions and collaborations should be in the affirmative future.
Destiny – A series of inspired actions that support the forward looking innovations in the organisation. Large forums typically provide the “kick offs” for smaller teams to then go away and carry on creating the changes. Innovations that come from the AI process often impact many different parts of the organisation.
AI Summits or conferences can be used to create and sustain a broad range of organisational changes at different scales:
Large i.e. culture transformation, business improvement and customer satisfaction.
Medium i.e. Team development, inter group conflict resolution and process improvement.
Small i.e. Leadership development, performance appraisal and employee orientation.
Andi Roberts can provide support for the whol AI summit process from the initial summit planning through to supporting idea sustainability. For more information contact Andi Roberts using one of the contact methods on the top of the page.