Appreciative Inquiry

Integral uses Appreciate Inquiry (AI) in our learning solutions design, including areas like strategic facilitation, team alignment and change management.   This positive dialogic methodology is particularly powerful to prepare the team to hear different voices, adapt to changes and commit to group decision more fluidly.   AI focuses on positive voices rather than deficit problems in conversational processes. This offers new patterns of discoveries, encouragement, and synergy between individuals, teams, departments and the whole organization. It creates a self-organizing context for the group to affirm each other’s ideas and emotions, shared visions, while creating a ground for collaborative exploration of what they dream about for their organizational future.   The act of affirmation in the generative dialogue helps participants to appreciate the understanding of each others’ point of view, and co-create meaning from differences. AI shifts the assumption from “a problem to be solved” to “a mystery to be embraced” during the process of organization development.


In a typical organizational change process, a series of meetings adopting AI will be facilitated to a collectively define “Where we want to be” and “how do we get there?”. We suggest our 4-step AI intervention to drive the organizatonal cultural change to facilitate the transition.


Phase (1) – Discover (What Works Best). Organizational leaders and members interview each other to share their past success stories that made them feel most alive and proud of. In groups, they identify what they value most in their organizations as the critical success factors to drive organization forward. They appreciate each others’ contributions, see diversities as strengths, discover what people value, and share best practices to identify opportunities to breakthrough.


Phase (2) – Dream (What Might Be). Based on the rich positive voices in the discovery phase, members built a common ground of possibilities towards the change. They develop common vision to co-create the image of the change. They share dreams for work, relationships, behaviors, values best represent their desirable organizational future.


Phase (3) – Design (What Should Be).  Members co-create the vision of change to challenge current assumptions or routines, to stretch the status quo, and brainstorm what attitudes, behaviors & circumstances should change in order to realize the dream.


Phase (4) – Destiny (What Will Be). The vision is ready to put into actions. Members communicate with each other regarding their desire & commitment to the change. They list out those areas that can change now. They work out the plausible change roadmap or projects with time frame. They share how they make use of their best to contribute as individuals.