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
- 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
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 http://appreciativeinquiry.case.edu/uploads/whatisai.pdf
Hall, J., & and Hammond, S. What is appreciative Inquiry Google scholar http://bands.butler.edu/~dluechau/articles/hallhamwhatisai.pdf
Magruder, J., & Mohr, B. J. (2001). Appreciative Inquiry: Change at the speed of imagination.