The basic premise of Appreciative Inquiry is that in every organization there is something that works, that gives life, provides effectiveness and makes it successful.
The starting point of Appreciative Inquiry is discovering what is positive and what is already working in relationship with the mission and the objectives that are relevant for a given company or team.
This “success core” is energizing and inspiring and can be leveraged to build cooperative capacity for new projects.
Instead of audits, critical analyses and negative viewpoints, AI focuses on where energy comes from and on what gives an organization life, encouraging people to look for everything that works, everything that is positive, that generates energy, exploring as many avenues as possible.
A real paradigm shift
The 7 assumptions of AI
- In every human system something works.
- What we focus on becomes our reality.
- Reality is created in the moment and there are multiple realities.
- The language we use shapes our reality.
- The act of asking questions influences the outcome in some way.
- People have more confidence going into the future (unknown) when they carry forward parts of the present (known).
- If we carry parts of the past into the future, they should be what are best about the past.
The objective of the AI approach in consulting is primarily to identify the key success factors for a given team, business unit, company or institution.
Based on this discovery phase which includes non quantitative elements (such as indicators of customer satisfaction for example), a new capacity for positive and sustainable change can be envisioned and built upon in a realistic way.
AI is a participative and constructive method aimed at developing organizations and teams, enabling them, whatever their size and their type of activity, to reach their goals, however specific they may be.