What is Appreciative Inquiry?
Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a co-creative search for the best in people, their
organizations, groups and communities.
Appreciative Coaching (AC) is a newly emerging process that uses the principles of AI
in one-to -one coaching relationships.
Instead of focusing on "what is wrong" AI and AC ask about what goes well and "what
do you want instead?" (of the problem). It is both a worldview and a process for
facilitating positive change. Its assumption is simple - all
human systems (or individual human beings) have something that works right -things that give them life
AI involves discovering the strengths and core values in a person or a system and then dreaming
and designing how those core values can be strengthened and developed to create a positive desired future.
Working with a system, AI connects people from all levels of the organisation
or group and so ensures commitment from the entire group.
Core principles of Appreciative Inquiry
Summarised by D Whitney & Trosten-Bloom, 2003
1. Words Create Worlds (Constructionist Principle):
The words we use to think and talk about a subject, determine our experience of
2. Inquiry Creates Change (Simultaneity Principle):
The moment we ask a question, we begin to create change.
3. We Can Choose What We Investigate (Poetic Principle):
What we choose to pay attention to, determines our findings.
4. Image Inspires Action (Anticipatory Principle):
Human systems move in the direction of their images of the future. The more positive
and hopeful the image of the future, the more positive the present-day action.
5. Positive Questions Lead to Positive Change (Positive Principle):
Momentum for change requires large amounts of positive feelings and social togetherness.
This momentum is best generated through positive questions that strengthen our
shared positive values.
6. Wholeness Brings out the Best (Wholeness Principle):
Wholeness brings out the best in people and organizations. Bringing all stakeholders
together in large group forums stimulates creativity and builds collective capacity.
7. Acting "As If" is Self-Fulfilling (Enactment Principle):
To really make a change, we must "be the change we want to see". Positive change
occurs when the process used to create the change is a living model of the ideal
8. Free Choice Liberates Power (Free Choice Principle):
People perform better and are more committed when they have the freedom to choose
how and what they contribute. Free choice stimulates organizational excellence
and positive change.
love so much
that you'd pay to do it?
What you can conceive and believe
you can achieve.