How Appreciative Inquiry can help you

Appreciative Inquiry is a provocative approach to organisational learning and change. Its benefits include:

  • creating an opportunity for people to be heard
  • generating opportunities for people to dream and share their dreams
  • creating an environment in which people feel able to choose how they contribute
  • giving people both discretion and the support to act
  • encouraging and enabling people to be positive
  • building relationships that enable people to be known in their relationship, rather than their role

It’s a unique, positive development tool for creating change, development, resilience and creativity. AI is different to traditional problem-solving approaches – there is a growing understanding that ‘if you look for problems, you’ll find and create more problems’. It focus on ‘what works?’, building on the research showing that people become stronger and build on their strengths when working from strengths.

It’s ideal for supporting change and development for businesses, community groups, social enterprises, individuals and public sector workers.

AI has four key processes:

  • discovering an organisation or group’s current strengths
  • involving all members of the group in designing an attractive future
  • redesigning the organisation to reflect the first two
  • using the energy generated by the AI process to make things happen


appreciative inquiry experts - Appreciating People, Liverpool UK, visual minute

AI effectiveness

AI doesn’t, however, mean wearing rose tinted glasses. Whilst identifying strengths, and ‘what works’, AI is a rigorous approach that doesn’t gloss over problems, but uses them as learning opportunities. AI is not about positive thinking – although positivity is important. It accepts that there are problems, but looks at them from a different viewpoint.


appreciative inquiry experts - Appreciating People, Liverpool UK - one to one session

Research into the effectiveness of AI shows that it enables:

  • identification of problems or issues, and appreciation of the best of what currently works
  • analysis of causes of issues, and imagining what might be possible
  • identifying solutions to problems and talking about ‘what should be’
  • planning and innovative ideas to move the organisation forward

Click here to download an example of AI in practice or contact us now about how you can use AI in your work or community group.


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