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Appreciative Inquiry for Community Development

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lise palmer

on 2 February 2012

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Transcript of Appreciative Inquiry for Community Development

the IDEA WHAT IS IT? FURTHER READING Strengths-based Community Development
WITH APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY A.I. seeks what is ‘right’ in an organization. It is a
habit of mind, heart, and imagination that
searches for the success, the life-giving force,
the incidence of joy. It moves toward what the
organization is doing right and provides a frame
for creating an imagined future that builds on
and expands the joyful and life-giving realities
as the metaphor and organizing principle of the
organization.

Watkins & Cooperrider (2000) David Cooperrider The philosophy:

What we focus on becomes our reality
In every society, organization, or group, something works.
Reality is created in the moment - multiple realities.
The act of asking questions is an intervention.
People have more confidence and comfort to journey to the future when they carry forward parts of the past.
It is important to value differences.
The language we use creates our reality.
People are motivated to act when they have a choice in what they will do.

Hammond, 1996; Whitney & Trosten-Bloom, 2002 ©2011-2012 ~rokincow
The Constructionist Principle: To be effective as executives, leaders, change agents, etc., we must be adept in the art of understanding, reading, and analyzing organizations as living, human constructions.

Knowing (organizations) stands at the center of any and virtually
every attempt at change.

Thus, the way we know is fateful. the 5
principles
of A.I. The Principle of Simultaneity: Inquiry is intervention. The seeds of change—that is, the things people think and talk about, the things people discover and learn, and the things that inform dialogue and inspire images of the future—are implicit in the very first questions we ask. The questions we ask set the stage for what we “find”. The Poetic Principle: A metaphor here is that human organizations are a lot more like and open book than, say, a machine. An organization’s story is constantly being co- authored. Moreover, pasts, presents, or futures are endless sources of learning,
inspiration, or interpretation—precisely like, for example, the endless interpretive possibilities in a good piece of poetry or a biblical text. The Anticipatory Principle:
Much like a movie projector on a screen, human systems are forever projecting ahead of themselves a horizon of expectation (in their talk in the hallways, in the metaphors and language they use) that brings the future powerfully into the present as a mobilizing agent. To inquire in ways that serves to refashion anticipatory reality—especially the artful creation of positive imagery on a collective basis--may be the most prolific thing any inquiry can do. This last principle is not so abstract. It grows out of years of
experience with appreciative inquiry. Put most simply, it has been our experience that
building and sustaining momentum for change requires large amounts of positive affect
and social bonding—things like hope, excitement, inspiration, caring, camaraderie, sense
of urgent purpose, and sheer joy in creating something meaningful together.

What we have found is that the more positive the question we ask in our work the more long
lasting and successful the change effort. It does not help, we have found, to begin our
inquiries from the standpoint of the world as a problem to be solved. The
major thing we do that makes the difference is to craft and seed, in better and more
catalytic ways, the unconditional positive question.

--Cooperrider & Whitney
check out the
Appreciative Inquiry Commons! http://appreciativeinquiry.case.edu/ Appreciative Inquiry EXAMPLE 1 Strategic planning as strategic problem-solving. Deficits being the implicit focus. the problem-solving approach:
our culture LOVES IT! EXAMPLE 2 Strategic planning as community-wide visioning and strategizing to get there. EXAMPLE 3 A conflict-torn
organization Experiencing:
conflict to point of total breakdown
values appeared to clash
mission of their non-profit seen differently
what to do in times of disagreement seen differently
Problem-based intervention would lead to... ? Intervention:
inquiry into what conflict can offer
inquiry into what the other was holding on to when blocking moving forward
inquiry into what is shared, even in moments of conflict (a desire to help...)
fostering appreciation and understanding of the other
feeling more comfortable with conflict (scary!)
using conflict to generate solutions
tapping into shared vision and goals ACTIVITY: A.I. Interviews
Find a partner.
Interview each other one at a time.
Take notes on what your partner says. can you think of a "peak experience" you've had in community development? A highlight for you, when you were at your best, were proud of your contribution? It can be a small moment, or a big one.

what specifically did you do that you were proud of?

what supported or enabled you to act the way you did? What factors can you identify that were helpful?
10 minutes each what are some strategies
for achieving our vision? what support will we put
in place for ourselves to
keep us on track? EXAMPLE 4 A Community Picture in Timiskaming, ON wanted: a "community picture" - like a needs assessment
8 focus groups
DISCOVERY: what's working well in community health sector?
what are your priorities?
DREAM: what would a thriving community health sector look like?
How can we draw on what is working well to get there? food security initiatives were very successful. Partnerships!
new positions to support families could play linking role
best practices with local relevance emerged
etc...
APPLYING IT SOAR AI INTERVIEWS VISIONING AI SUMMIT Strengths
Opportunities
Aspirations
Results activity: collective SOAR analysis for our projects? consider:
as part of the 4-D cycle
leading up to visioning
to cultivate better relationships between two people
as a starting place to learn about almost anything 2 and a half day event!
4-D cycle
system-wide change
Activity: form a triad and discuss -

It's 2015. You have each become a celebrated
and amazing community development practitioner.
What does that look like? What are you up to? Sticky notes:
one descriptor per sticky knowledgable I know a lot of stuff, lots of theories
and people come to me for information It's provocative... it's risky! What is one thing you taking away
from today that you might
carry forward into your project?
Full transcript