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Appreciative Inquiry: A Practicum in Navigating Change

The New School, October 10, 2012

Kathy Zamora

on 6 February 2013

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Transcript of Appreciative Inquiry: A Practicum in Navigating Change

Appreciative Inquiry:
A Practicum in
Navigating Change Pick an image Gathering Not a linear process! Can move in many different directions.

Leads to continuous improvement

Sustainable and Adaptive


Enables exploration of possibilities outside the accepted limitations of a problem Generative Characteristics Five Generic Processes Guided by Five Core Principles Inquire into exceptionally positive moments Phase 2: Discovery Whip What do your personal outcomes for success look like? Pick an image from those on the table that reflects you at your best navigating change. I am [NAME] and [IMAGE] represents me navigating change at my best because ... As a result of this session, you will be able to:

articulate the 5 generic processes of Appreciative Inquiry & understand how they provide the framework for AI at its best

create a viable Provocative Proposition & design ways to make it actionable

answer "What do I have to master to make AI work?"

use an appreciative approach to deeply inquire into what is right and why, and then find ways of intentionally creating more of what is right in your world. Gathering

Outcomes & Flow

Group Agreements

Phase 1: Definition - Choose the positive as the focus of inquiry

Phase 2: Discovery - Inquire into exceptionally positive moments

Phase 3: Discovery - Share the stories & identify the life-giving forces

Phase 4: Dream - Create shared images of a preferred future

Phase 5: Design & Destiny/Delivery - Innovate & improvise ways to create that future

Closing & Evaluation Popcorn Group Agreements are commitments we make to each other that we can live with as a group, guidelines for how we should work together, talk to each other, and treat each other. Group Agreements Flow Outcomes What is an agreement you would like to govern our work today? Read-Aloud #1 A Brief Introduction to AI "Our use of the term 'appreciative' emphasizes the idea that when something increases in value, it 'appreciates.' Therefore, 'appreciative inquiry' is inquiry that focuses on the generative and life-giving forces in the system that are the things we want to increase. By 'inquiry' we mean the process of seeking to understand through asking questions." Share the stories &
identify life-giving forces Phase 3: Discovery Innovate & improvise
ways to create that
future Phase 5: Design & Destiny/Delivery Create shared images of
a preferred future Phase 4: Dream Popcorn Closing & Evaluation Before this session I thought...
Now I know... K/W/L Chart How does Appreciative Inquiry facilitate change? Does it work?

What did we KNOW that still seems to be true? (k)

What did you WANT to know that was not addressed? (w)

What have you LEARNED? (l)

Is there anything additional you WANT to know, based on this learning session? (w) Debriefing Facilitated by Kathy Zamora October 10, 2012 -- Magruder Watkins, Mohr & Kelly
Appreciative Inquiry Change at the Speed of Imagination, p.22 What aspect of this definition resonates most with you? Read-Aloud #2 "The core of AI is generativity... it is a quest for new ideas, images, theories and models that liberate our collective aspirations, alter the social construction of reality and, in the process, make available decisions and actions that weren't available or didn't occur before. When successful, AI generates spontaneous, unsupervised, individual, group and organizational action toward a better future...

A focus on the positive is useful for appreciative inquiry but it's not the purpose. The purpose is to generate a new and better future. To design and facilitate appreciative inquiry effectively I think you have to build generativity into every activity. " -- Bushe; Appreciative Inquiry is Not (Just) About the Positive How does this concept of generativity connect to the definition of AI? Read-Aloud #3 A Brief Introduction to AI "The word positive (and opposite) have 'posit' as its root, meaning: 'to set' or 'to position towards'... Simply put, to be positive is to be 'for' whereas to be negative is to be 'against'.

In the Positive Organisational Scholarship (POS) schools of thought, 'positive' points to what is life-giving and life-affirming... This creates a different question than simply inquiring about what is positive. It also means we do not need to inquire as to what is negative in order to reframe it to its opposite in order to identify the positive...

Rather, AI allows us to transcend the trap of opposites, to a deep investigation into what lies beyond positive and negative, problem and solution, sickness and cure. It raises and broadens our perspective and increases our awareness.... goes beyond the either-or, for-or-against, broken-fixed type of inquiries we are so used to, and straight to the heart of what matters most to you and me in any given situation." -- Theunissen, Appreciative Inquiry: Beyond the Duality of
Positive & Negative; Problem & Solution; Sympton & Cure In what ways might reframing EITHER-OR to BOTH-AND lead to generativity ? Read-Aloud #4 A Brief Introduction to AI "There are many considerations, beside a focus on the positive, that go into crafting an effective appreciative inquiry...

...many of the same consulting issues and contingencies that effect traditional OD effect Appreciative Inquiry too. AI does not magically overcome poor sponsorship, poor communications, insensitive facilitation or un-addressed organizational politics...

Positive questions and generative designs do not create change without a whole lot of the wisdom of 'traditional OD' applied competently. -- Bushe; Appreciative Inquiry is Not (Just) About the Positive What implications does this have for what skills a change agent may need to effectively utilize Appreciative Inquiry? The Constructionist Principle
The Principle of Simultaneity
The Anticipatory Principle
The Poetic Principle
The Positive Principle Definition Discovery 5. Innovate and improvise ways to create that future 1. Choose the positive as the focus of inquiry AI 2. Inquire into exceptionally positive moments 3. Share the stories and identify life-giving forces Design & Destiny/Delivery Five Generic Processes of Appreciative Inquiry Dream 4. Create shared images of a preferred future The 5 Generic Processes are a roadmap, not a prescription!

Customize them to fit each unique situation and group. -- Mohr & Watkins, The Essentials of Appreciative Inquiry, p.5 Definition Topic When have we been most pleased with our responses to change, and what can we learn and apply from those moments of success? Navigating Change The questions we ask are FATEFUL, because...

just asking the questions begins to bring about change

we create more of whatever we focus our attention on Appreciative Interviews When you are the INTERVIEWER:
1. Ask the questions and the interviewee will answer those questions.
2. Encourage the use of specific details and examples through clarifying
questions (Tell me more. How did that affect you? Has it changed
3. Listen deeply! This is not a back-and-forth dialogue. You are listening to
their story.
4. Be genuinely curious about the best in the person you interview.

After the interviewee has had an opportunity to respond to the questions, the interviewer should take 1 minute to jot down any notes on the Summary Sheet provided.

When you are the INTERVIEWEE:
1. Respond to the questions with stories or examples.
2. Be detailed. Describe, don't just summarize! Appreciative Interviews Tip Sheet Consider...

What elements are common (in spirit) across the moments of success?

Surface the Positive Core - or highest energy, high-point themes.

What has been shared that inspires you? Sharing & Identifying Life-Giving Forces Group Nominal Technique Mapping the Positive Core Place dots next to the 2 or 3 themes most essential to you, that you want to create more of.

This is not a "vote".

The purpose of the energy-gram is to display the energy focus of our particular group.

Are there any emerging patterns? Use the momentum from phase 3 to create a future in which high-energy themes are the daily reality.

At this time, the group is literally designing the structure for achieving this desired future.

Dreaming consists of a VISUAL image and a WORD image. Dream Examples include: drawings, songs, skits, collages, dances, etc. Visual Image Appreciations After each group shares their visual image, tell the performers what you like most. Translate the visual image into a Provocative Proposition.

These are sometimes called Possibility Statements, Shared Vision, or Dream Statements

A provocative proposition bridges the best of "what is" with your speculation of "what might be." Word Image Stretch the realm of the status quo
Challenge common assumptions or routines
Suggests real possibilities that represent desired possibilities for the group

As you write, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Is it Provocative?
...stretch, challenge, or interrupt habits

2. Is it grounded?
...are there examples in the system that illustrate
the ideal as a real possibility?

3. Is it desired?
...do you want it?

4. Is it affirmative?
...written in present tense! Provocative Proposition Within your groups, collectively answer the following questions:

How are we going to make this happen as a group or as an individual?

What can YOU do that will make it inevitable that the provocative proposition will be actualized? Design & Destiny/Delivery Journal Reflection On an index card, individually answer the following question:

"What can I do this week to actualize my vision of navigating change?"

Be bold, creative and innovative in your response. Design & Destiny/Delivery Facilitating AI requires a willingness to be AI, not just do AI. Being appreciative inquiry involves all of the following qualities:

Be an inquirer, learn, and change.

Seek what is energizing, for self and others.

Work relationally, trusting in cooperation.

Challenge institutional forms of discrimination and injustice.

Focus on meaning, not methodology.

Reframe deficit dialogue into affirmative possibilities.

Organize around values and generative, life-giving factors. Facilitating Appreciative Inquiry -- The Appreciative Inquiry Summit
J.D. Ludema, D. Whitney, B.J. Mohr & T.J. Griffin Positive Deviance AI compatible with multiple change methodologies A Brief Introduction to AI Phase 1: Definition K/W/L Chart How does Appreciative Inquiry facilitate change? Does it work?

What do you KNOW? (k)

What do you WANT to know? (w) We create more of whatever we focus our attention on.

Define what the organization, group or community wants more of:

You don't need to start with a problem

You can inquire into something already working exceptionally well; inquire into success to create more success Choose the positive as the focus of inquiry
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