An Appreciative Inquiry training approach

Creating self-sustaining communities of AI practice and encouraging generativity

In mid-February 2019, Appreciating People had a fantastic opportunity to provide some additional Appreciative Inquiry training for the lovely people of the Madavi company in Madrid. It’s a great company, working to make a difference. Although all the participants had either been AI trained, or studied the AI philosophy, they wanted to learn about Appreciating People’s AI training approach. Madavi recognised that AI training could support transformation beyond the the AI summit, which highlighted to us the value of sharing our AI training philosophy to a wider audience.

So, what is Appreciating People’s approach to AI training?
At its centre is a simple intention: to create self-sustaining communities of AI practice within organisations and communities. We train people to become in-house AI practitioners, who’re able to support each other, provide further AI training in-house and co-create AI interventions, both small and large.

This approach emerged as a response to concerns from some of our client, and their comments. They worried that small scale AI training workshops and presentations had little transformational impact. After much discussion and testing, we created an AI training approach that could support and develop a critical mass of AI practitioners and in-house trainers

We first developed this model within the Appreciating Church programme. It’s since begun to happen within the Learning from Excellence project and with other NHS organisations. Four years on, the impact has become noticeable. All the partners in the Appreciating Church programme are now delivering in-house training and AI is being embedded in those organisations.

In the NHS, the impact within the Learning from Excellence programme has been similar. The development of practical AI training resources such as Taste of AI, Reflections, and Creating Great Conversations has provided practical tools to help organisations develop their AI practice. The Appreciating Church workbook has provided an additional bespoke resource, which has enhanced the AI training offer within partner churches. One overarching impact is to observe a generative effect within the client organisations, nurturing the next generation of AI advocates.

What is the AI workshop model and core content?
Depending on the client, the most common approach is a two-day workshop followed by a period of AI practice; then a three-day Deepening your AI practice workshop. After the programme, there is a period of co-facilitating with Appreciating People for participants who want to provide in-house AI training, before developing in-house programmes. Content includes an emphasis on practical AI integration into the day job, the importance of the AI principles, generative conversations and questions, AI tools and encouraging appreciative journaling. A key component of the two-day workshop is to use practical topics drawn from the client organisation.

In the case of the NHS, it’s using Learning From Excellence and patient safety – our overall intent is to enable participants to develop their ‘appreciative muscle’ and appreciative mindset. This approach won an award in the Patient Safety Awards in 2017, led by Emma and Adrian Plunkett and the team at the Patient Safety Collaborative of the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network.

What has the impact been for Appreciating People?
We’ve seen impact in three main areas:

  1. Significantly more interest in AI and recognition of its benefits
  2. An increase in AI training income and repeat business
  3. Significant increase in the sale of AI training resources


If you’re interested in exploring in-house AI training, contact either or