What “gives Life” to your Organization? Appreciative Inquiry and the Quest for the “Positive Core”

AI_4_DAt the January MAPP onsite, one of our guest speakers was David Cooperrider. He has (co-)developed Appreciative Inquiry (AI), a method of organizational development that is rooted in Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS). It´s a bit hard to explain it in a few words; therefore, I´ll let other people do the talking. The first video below is a short interview with David Cooperrider on the foundations and underlying assumption of AI. The second one is a bit longer and explains the whole AI process in a very graspable way.

Let me just say this much: the word “appreciate” is typically understood in the sense of “highly valued” – but can also mean “increasing something in value”. Therefore, things we appreciate grow in their value precisely because of our appreciation. To make use of a little oversimplification:

Whatever we put most energy into – grows. So if we focus a lot of energy on problems and problem-fixing – there´s a good chance there will be more problems. But if we instead put emphasis on strengths and what is already good – those aspects tend to grow. That´s exactly what AI tries to do – by asking the right questions (that´s where the “inquiry” in AI comes from). Enjoy!

What is AI?

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