Category Archives: Appreciative inquiry

Harry’s finally made it !!

Harry’s finally made it !!

Sometime ago I was talking about mastering technology and had to confess that I couldn’t figure out how to get my photo’s from the camera to my blog, and that if you ever saw Harry (the cat) you would know I had finally sorted the problem. I have been reduced to bribing Merrolee (Occupational Therapy Education Issues) with a glass of wine and a browse and borrow from my book shelf in exchange for some “looking over the shoulder” learning – and hey it’s sorted. However now I am on a roll and in the belief that the only way to cement my knowledge is to practice I have changed all the photo’s on the blog to photo’s I have taken this winter. I have left the Banner but perhaps one day it too will change. Harry at the door When it all comes together technology is a wonderful thing.



Problem Solved?

house-ida-valley.jpg Occupational therapists are often associated with problem solving. In reading about a change concept called appreciative inquiry. I was interested in the following description of problem solving

Traditional diagnostic model

  • Defining the problem
  • Fixing what is broken
  • Focusing on decay

What problems are you having?

And then an alternative model

Appreciative Inquiry

  • Searching for solutions that already work
  • Amplifying what works
  • Focus on life giving forces

What is working well around here?

Um…. It makes you think about the approach you use

So what is appreciative inquiry?

It was described in Cooperrider & Whitey as “Taking the best of the past and stretching it into the future”.

And in Hall and Hammond as having these features

  • Acknowledging that we all have rich positive experiences to call on
  • Works on the principle that whatever you want more of already exists in the organization (or I’m adding ‘an individual’) you just have to recognize it
  • People can have confidence in the future when they can carry though parts of the past
  • When you do more of what works the stuff that doesn’t work goes away

Much of the literature talks of using the Four D – model within appreciative inquiry In Magruder Watkins & Mohr they describe the four D model this way:

  • Discovery Appreciate the best of what is – by focusing on times of excellence(when are you or the organization most alive and effective)
  • Dream Involves challenging the status quo by envisaging a preferred future
  • Design Creating the social architecture – what will the structures and processes be
  • Deliver Deliver on the new images of the future a time of continuous learning, adjustment and improvisation

In summary

Appreciative inquiry is described as:

  • A search for the best in people
  • It identifies your positive core
  • It is about building on what works well
  • And most importantly it is about recognising the best in the people and world around us

Certainly makes you wonder what the world would be like if we all thought this way.

References:Cooperrider, D. & Whitney, D., A positive revolution in change: Appreciative inquiryGoogle Scholar

Hall, J., & and Hammond, S. What is appreciative Inquiry Google scholar

Magruder, J., & Mohr, B. J. (2001). Appreciative Inquiry: Change at the speed of imagination.
San Francisco:Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer.