Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What inspires you?

I love this question.

What have you been doing?
What is working well?
Give me a highlight of your day?
What do you want?
Tell me a story when the team was at its best.

These and countless other questions are the foundation of Appreciative Inquiry (AI).

We studied AI at the Bainbridge Graduate Institute but that was just a little taste. Last week I attended a 5-day morning seminar learning more about the practice.

AI is an approach to facilitate change. The theory is that by changing the questions we ask we change the world by discovering what is and by bringing the "best" of the past consciously into the future.

Change the questions.....Change the world.

People and organizations move in the direction of what is studied. Study problems and you get problems. Study success and you get success. Problem solving tends to narrow the thought repertoire while AI expands it by engaging enthusiasm, dreaming and creativity. Problem solving tends to be backward looking while AI is about projecting forward. Both approaches have the same goal --> moving a person or organization from the current situation to a preferred situation. The difference is in approach, and I would add effectiveness.

You can learn more about AI by visiting the AI Commons.

Ask some positive questions today and see how people respond. AI offers great promise in our efforts to change the world.

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