Appreciative Inquiry is a collaborative and constructive inquiry process that searches for everything that gives life to organizations, communities, and larger human systems when they are most alive, effective, creative and healthy in their interconnected ecology of relationships. To appreciate, quite simply, means to value and to recognize that which has value—it is a way of knowing and valuing the best in life. In the language of Positive Organizational Scholarship it means a research focus—a positive bias—seeking fresh understanding of dynamics described by words like excellence, thriving, abundance, resilience, or exceptional and life-giving. In this context the word appreciate means to value those things of value—it is a mode of knowing often connected to the idea of esthetic appreciation in the arts. To appreciate also means to be grateful or thankful for—it is a way of being and maintaining a positive stance along the path of life's journey. And not incidentally, to appreciate is to increase in value too. Combining the three—appreciation as a way of knowing, as a way of being and as an increase in value– suggests that Appreciative Inquiry is simultaneously a life-centric form of study and a constructive mode of practice. As a form of study, Appreciative Inquiry focuses on searching systematically for those capacities and processes that give life and strength and possibility to a living system; and as a constructive mode of practice, it aims at designing and crafting human organizations through a process in which valuing and creating are viewed as one, and where inquiry and change are powerfully related and understood as a seamless and integral whole Leading Positive Change through Appreciative Inquiry is a course dedicated to advancing our understanding and skill in leading strength-based change and on how to create, foster and manage organizations in which people thrive and perform at their best.
This course really helped deepen my understanding of Appreciative Inquiry. I'm seeing opportunities to use it everywhere in my work.