Train the Trainer – Appreciative Inquiry

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) can be described as an approach which draws from positive psychology and storytelling, to create an “alignment of strengths” that render weaknesses irrelevant (Peter Drucker in TEDx Talks, 2014), hence empowering individuals and facilitate the resolution of given problems to enact desired change.

By using a strengths-based approach of inquiry throughout an organisation, AI helps individuals, teams and businesses become sources of positive change in the world, showing by example, that even the largest businesses and organisations can lead positive innovations to improve the lives of employees, customers, suppliers and communities.

The Launch and Further Development of Appreciative Inquiry.

Initially developed at Case Western Reserve University’s department of  Organisational Behaviour, Appreciative Inquiry was initially created in 1987 by David Cooperrider and Suresh Srivastva. Since 2000, the original founders of Mobile Team Challenge, Rainey Weisenburger and Cheri Torres, have been working with David Cooperrider in the application of A.I. to experiential learning concepts and the ongoing development of the concepts and have authored several books with Cooperrider.

In the early 2000’s Mobile Team Challenge held several, national, Appreciative Inquiry Conferences in the UK and were one of the original initiators of A.I. into the UK.

Called “the best large-group method in the world today,” AI stands out among other Organizational Development theories due to its scalability and generativity.  AI methods have been demonstrated to:

AI helps organisations discover the values of their stakeholders and create an aligned vision and mission based on those values. Through the process, organizations can discover key strengths, new product or service opportunities, cost savings and increased earnings. Appreciative Inquiry not only produces better results, but happier people.

Managers and leaders face complex challenges and the need for change on a regular basis. Most of the strategies we have used in the past for problem-solving and decision-making, however, are inadequate for handling complex problems and continuous change. How do we manage problem-solving and change in today’s world?

Whole System Engagement

One of the most widely-used approaches for complex problem-solving is ‘appreciative inquiry’ (AI). AI is a strengths-based practice that engages whole systems in searching for the best of what is, dreaming what might be, designing pathways to live into dreams, and co-creating the future through cycles of action and learning. What makes AI unique is its grounding in social constructionism. This is the notion that we create our social systems through our shared conversations and meaning-making. At some point in the past, we created the current system as our best guess for what would support success. If the current system is no longer supporting success, we can redesign it by having a conversation worth having. Two simple appreciative inquiry practices make this possible: ‘generative questions’ and ‘positive framing’.

Generative Questions

A ‘generative question’ is one that changes the way people think. It creates a compelling image that inspires new possibilities and action. These questions inspire us to think outside of our ordinary frame and to challenge our assumptions.

Positive Framing

The second practice is ‘positive framing’: focus on what you want—the desired outcome(s) instead of the problem. For example, instead of focusing on fixing low performance, study high performance. What are high- performing teams doing that could be replicated? Instead of fixing turnover issues, have conversations with those who are engaged and committed. What can you learn from them?

The Appreciative Inquiry Leader

Creative ideas and solutions emerge in appreciative and inquiry-based conversations. These two AI practices enable teams to respond effectively and with agility to both complex challenges and continuous change. And a manager’s capacity to create high performing cultures is enhanced by using these practices to foster ‘conversations worth having’ anytime, anywhere, and in any situation.

The applications of Appreciative Inquiry are numerous:

Applications of AI within the UK delivered by Mobile Team Challenge

Delegates Will:

SO….whether you are looking for a Train the Trainer Course to learn how to deliver Strategic Planning… or Positive Reframing… or Appreciative Coaching… or Conversations Worth Having… or Professional Intervention Skills or Appreciative Advanced Facilitation skills – please contact us and we would love to talk to you about your specific requirements.