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Appreciative Inquiry and Organisational change Sarah Lewis.

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1 Appreciative Inquiry and Organisational change Sarah Lewis

2 Appreciative Inquiry  What is it and what’s new about it?  How does it work?  How do you do it?  What are the implications for practice?

3 What is it?  Theory of organisational change  That grew out of a dissatisfaction with Action Research  Post modern in its ontological and epistemological base  David Cooperrider, Suresh Srivastva

4 So what’s new in appreciative inquiry?  Organisations as the triumph of the human imagination  Organisations as products of human interaction and mind  Not how things go wrong - isn’t it amazing they work at all  The move from deficit language to life centric approaches  From vocabularies of human deficit to vocabularies of hope  Organisations don’t need fixing, need constant re- affirmation

5 Appreciative Inquiry & Problem Solving Problem solving Felt need ‘identification of problem’ Analysis of causes Analysis of possible solutions Action planning (treatment) Basic assumption: organisation is a problem to be solved Appreciative inquiry Appreciating and valuing the best of what is Envisioning what might be Dialoguing what should be Innovating what will be Basic assumption: organisation is a mystery to be embraced. Hammond 1996

6 Appreciative inquiry: principles The constructionist principle The simultaneity principle The poetic principle The anticipatory principle The positive principle

7 The four D model  Identify those peak times when everything operated perfectly  What factors were behind the peak experiences  What intervention will make the peak experience the norm?  ‘Affirmative topics, always homegrown, can be on anything the people in the organisation feel gives life to the system’

8 The four D model  Discovery: Discover and disclose positive capacity  Dreaming: A sense of how things could be  Design: Creation of the ideal organisation  Destiny: An inspired movement

9 Appreciative Inquiry Discover and Value ‘the best of what is’ Dreaming (envisioning the future) ‘What might be’ Design through Dialogue ‘What should be’ Destiny (co-construct the future) ‘What will be’ Affirmative Topic Choice

10 Role of consultant Explorers not mechanics Active agent not impartial bystander Wordsmith Collaborator Generous, curious, appreciative, systemic

11 Implications for managers and leaders The main task of management is meaning making and creating possibilities to go on Organisations are networks of conversation in which accounts are created More than one account can exist, none is the truth, all may be true Conversation/communication contains moral order Affect action through communication

12 Thank you Sarah Lewis Jemstone Consultancy 020 8293 0017

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