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Appreciative Inquiry Principles and Assumptions

Submitted by  on September 18th, 2011

Business woman forming letter A with her handsI’ve just completed the second day of The Essence of Appreciative Inquiry workshop in Melbourne. Held within the beautiful grounds of the Abbotsford Convent, the facilitators encouraged participants to explore the fundamental assumptions, principles and process of Appreciative Inquiry (commonly abbreviated as AI).

For those not familiar with Appreciative Inquiry, this approach to organizational change and learning emphasizes the openness of ideas, the importance of feelings and the inclusion of all stakeholders in the change process. Perhaps most of all it turns the traditional problem-centered approach on its head. Instead of asking, “What is wrong?” and “How can we fix it?”, participants are encouraged to ask, “What has worked?” and “What kind of future do we want?”

Our workshop facilitators, Sue James and Chris Bennett, did an outstanding job of bringing to life the essential principles of Appreciative Inquiry. Through a series of well thought out examples and exercises, I got to question some of my own assumptions about the power of stories and the unpredictability of the change process. The next workshop is being held on 7th to 8th October in Melbourne, Australia. You can register online here for the next Appreciative Inquiry Workshop.

What have you learned from the Appreciative Inquiry approach to change? How have you incorporated AI principles in your life and relationships? Please share your positive stories. Isn’t that what AI is all about.

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