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.