"Visions of World Benefit & Global Responsibility: Perspectives of McGill Students

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Appreciative Inquiry

Appreciative inquiry (AI) was first initiated in the field of organization development in 1987 by two professors David Cooperrider and Suresh Srivastva from Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. “The traditional approach to change is to look for the problem, do a diagnosis, and find a solution,” wrote Hammond, Sue in The Thin Book of Appreciative Inquiry; now into the 21st century “Appreciative Inquiry focuses us on the positive aspects of our lives and leverages them to correct the negative. It’s the opposite of ‘problem-solving,” wrote White, T.H. in Working in Interesting Times: Employee morale and business success in the information age.

However, acknowledging the foundation of where the changes come from, more correctly AI is a new methodology of human development, leading organization achievement, society enhancement and ultimately global improvement through positive changes. AI approaches the problem of how to bring out the positive in us and fundamentally, how to make use of our positive selves? It is a new paradigm of the 21st century, suggesting that organizations should be build “with” the people, with their qualities, strengths, and values all taken into consideration, just like the materials used for construction.

To further explore AI and it’s 4-D technique: discover, dream, design, and destiny, an simple illustration is we discover the goods, dream of the betters, design and improve the goods to the betters, then create the bests, and that’s where the destiny lies. AI suggests a positive cycle of changes.

Which organizations will succeed? We look at the qualities of the people in them, starting from the employees to the managers to the CEOs. Fundamentally, it all starts with the people that possess the positive core – the visions they have about innovation, about sustainability, about cultural diversity, about ethics… about anything and everything. Not to conclude but to introduce this new paradigm for the 21st century: Where to start the change? That’s when appreciative inquiry comes into play.

No comments: