September Event Review – Hello Appreciative Enquiry, is it you I’m looking for?!

At the September ODA professional event, Jacqui Martin, COO of the Langley Group, led ODA members and others in an introduction to Appreciative Inquiry.

Jacqui described Appreciative Inquiry as:

  • A process for facilitating positive change in organisations, committees – in fact, any kind of group, large or small


  • A conversational, appreciative and strengths-based approach to organisational change with a whole-of-organisation and bottom-up (rather than top-down) focus.

Appreciative Inquiry has at its core the practical application of emotional intelligence, neuroscience, and positive psychology. The latter being particularly important in driving a focus on the positive core – that which is best in organisations.  As such, Appreciative Inquiry can be a powerful tool for anyone taking organisations on new and significant journeys.

With that brief introduction to Appreciative Inquiry, Jacqui took the group through exercises in:

  • Inquiry (questions);
  • Appreciation (positivity);
  • Strengths (what we can do); and
  • Generativity (innovation).

This then led to further exercises in:

  • Defining – what we wanted changes to be;
  • Focus – on high-level objectives and expected outcomes;
  • Discovery – what is working well now?;
  • Dreaming – imagining the future;
  • Design – innovation, and;
  • Destiny – future focus.

The very engaging and active evening concluded with a short exercise applying the Strengths Profile tool – in which those present identified three individual key personal strengths.    The suggestion which Jacqui left with the group was to look for ways to apply those strengths in dealing with present-time challenges – either organisational or individual.

Members can download the slides from Jacqui’s presentation here.