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1 An Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry Lesley Moore & Julie Barnes.

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1 1 An Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry Lesley Moore & Julie Barnes

2 2 Appreciative Inquiry (AI) A positive approach to learning and change Appreciate Recognise the quality of … Be fully aware of or sensitive to… To raise in value or worth Inquiry A process of gathering information for the purpose of learning and changing.

3 3 Appreciate In every situation something works Learn from exceptional examples and build on them What we focus on, we get more of Energy flows where our attention goes The language we use shapes our view of the world Is the glass half full or half empty?

4 4 Inquiry Organisations move in the direction of the questions they ask the stories they tell the images of the future they create Change begins with the first questions So we choose them carefully

5 5 Marvin Weisbord : “If I could ask one thing of a crystal ball in any situation, it would not be:  what's wrong and what will fix it? but  what’s possible here and who cares ? “

6 6 Using AI – Five ‘D’ Cycle Definition: Decide What to Learn About Discovery: Explore, inquire Themes - Values Dream/Imagine: Picture the future Design: Find innovative ways to create that future ; Delivery: Sustaining the Change AppreciativeT opic Eg What do you Want More of?

7 7 Why it works Principles of the approach In every society, organisation, team and group, some things work well. (strengths based) Organisations grow in the direction of what they ask questions about (social construction) People are more confident in moving to an uncertain future when they carry forward the best parts of the past (continuity and innovation). Change is seen as a journey rather than a one-off event (on-going) Everyone in the system participates (involvement)

8 8 Using AI to improve services and performance  Discover best practice and identify what needs to be preserved/built upon  Dream to create a vision of where you would like to get to  Design the detail processes which will take you to your desired future  Deliver the changes and review to sustain and encourage ongoing innovations

9 9 The advantages of wide participation Change begins from the first questions you ask Work from rich and diverse examples of what works well Encourage creative and diverse input into solutions design Invite offers and commitments from all over the organisation Leads to increased involvement & morale

10 10 David Cooperrider says that: ‘ A compulsive concern with what’s not working, why things go wrong and who didn’t do his or her job ….….demoralises members of the organisation, reduces the speed of learning, and undermines relationships and forward movement‘ ……appreciative inquiry starts a different kind of conversation, working with people’s experience, energy and passion to create exceptional change.…”

11 11 Dealing with the challenges It’s not about ignoring the difficulties You get to create the solutions together and work out what needs to happen next.

12 12 Appreciating the best We invite you to join us in:  Finding out what works  Figuring out how you can do more of it

13 13 Programme for the day Introduction Discovering what works well Imagining the best possible future Design for the future Delivery - destiny

14 14 Discovery – appreciative interviews Find a partner you’d like to know better Appreciative interviews Interviewer: listens, encourages, looks for the positives, note the highlights Interviewee: chance to brag 10 mins each and swap

15 15 Appreciative Questions What is the best thing about …. What do you really value about working here? What do you want more of?

16 16 Discovery – sharing stories Groups of 6-8 people for 45 mins Share highlights of partner’s story Reflect on emerging themes about the positive core of Newcastle’s safeguarding practice at its best Key points and symbol on flipchart Prepare to present in 3 mins

17 17 Dreaming for 2010 You have been nominated for an award for best and most innovative practice. All of the things we identified as making your situation excellent are happening. Can you describe or portray it? What does it look like? What is happening? What am I feeling? What am I doing? What is my manager doing? What is the organisation doing?

18 18 Criteria for good possibility statements: Short and clear Stretching and challenging Exciting and novel Are desired and preferred Describe what is wanted [realistic & ensures continuity, and transition] Are written in the present tense, as if they are already happening


20 20 Designing the future What needs to change to make this happen? What can we do now and in the longer term to achieve this? in small groups for 20 mins and feedback key points

21 21 Delivering the change Individual reflection and general discussion What will I do now to deliver this change? Offers, invitations, requests

22 22 Evaluation What was your highlight? What would you have liked more of? What will you take away with you today?

23 23 Useful References What is Appreciative Inquiry? by Joe Hall & Sue Hammond, Appreciative Inquiry: Change at the Speed of Imagination, by Jane Magruder Watkins and Bernard J. Mohr. Appreciative Inquiry: A Constructive Approach to Organization Development and Social Change, 2001 Cape Cod Institute Workshop by David Cooperrider and Marge Schiller The Power of Appreciative Inquiry. A practical guide to positive change. Diana Whitney and Amanda Trosten Bloom 2003 Appreciative Inquiry Handbook, David Cooperrider, Diana Whitney and Jackie Stavros, 2003 Appreciative Inquiry: Igniting Transformative Action,” by Bernard Mohr. From The Systems Thinker, Volume 12, #1, 2001, at Other Resources: AI Listserve at AI Commons website at AI Consulting Organization: a global network of AI practitioners at

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