Category Archives: Appreciative Change

Is it time for a Change of Gear?

Are you contemplating a new direction? If you’re ready to think about change you may be ready for GearChange. Drawing on their own experience of switching between employed and self-employed roles and re-launching ourselvs in new directions, Janet Dean and I have developed a programme of support for people who are embarking on major life and career change. What is GearChange? GearChange offers support to individuals embarking on career and life change through a menu of tailored products, including: One to one Coaching, either face to face, telephone or Skype. Mentoring, practical advice, access to knowledge and networks. Action Learning… Read more
Posted in Appreciative Change, change, Executive coaching, Strengths, Talents, Well Being | Leave a comment

Do you really want to make a sustainable difference?

It’s over ten years now that I have been using appreciative and strengths-based approaches in individual and organisational development settings. I have been working with a number of coaching clients recently who spend a good deal of time describing the problems and challenges they face and how their organisations tend to respond quite elaborately to these aspects, paying particular attention to the problems and looking for the quickest fixes. This concentration or perhaps over-concentration on the ‘deficit’ view, speaks to the enduring and maturing debate around the merits of taking a strengths-focused approach to change and improvement, compared to the… Read more
Posted in AI, appreciative, Appreciative Change, Appreciative Inquiry, Appreciative planning, Behaviours, change, Culture change, Deficit, Make a difference, productivity, SOAR, Strategic Planning, Strengths | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Introducing Appreciative Inquiry into another part of the NHS

This week’s blog is by way of reporting on a fabulous two days spent with a superb group of NHS professionals and reiterating the power and relevance of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) in UK public services. During the week just past, I facilitated a two day appreciative inquiry-based learning and action event for 15 NHS professionals in the Midlands.  The event was designed to introduce the managers to AI; both it’s theory and practice. The group wanted to not only learn about AI but to use AI ‘live’ across the two days to produce outputs that they could take away and… Read more
Posted in 4-D, AI, appreciative, Appreciative Change, Appreciative Inquiry, engagement, NHS, Public Service, Theory or practice? | Leave a comment

Transform the Culture as well as the Structures and Systems

David Clark, Chief Executive of SOLACE, (Society of Local Authority Chief Executives) wrote this weekend about a recent survey of Chief Executives throwing up some interesting views on the subject of transformation. “Many (most?) councils feel they must “transform” themselves, if they are to survive the harsh conditions of austerity. Many embarked on large “transformational” programmes, some even appointed new staff to lead the transformation and a few now report that their transformation has now been concluded successfully. But these transformations are in no sense homogenous. They have often started in very different places. Some have included customer led service… Read more
Posted in Appreciative Change, Behaviours, change, Complexity, Culture change, customer service, cuts, engagement, leadership | Leave a comment

It’s the questions that count – particularly if they are appreciative

Reading across some blogs today, one in particular caught our attention: http://solutionfocusedchange.blogspot.nl/2012/03/can-questions-lead-to-change-experiment.html?m=1 This article looks at how questions might influence outcomes. Most questions have implicit unstated pre-suppositions. The researchers wanted to test the assumption that questions differing in their pre-suppositions can affect the person answering them. Aside from the intrinsic interest and value of the research quoted, it also chimes with what we know from Appreciative Inquiry (AI) anduestions. AI tells us that what we inquire into is fateful. So, if we inquire into implied or explicit failure, problems and errors, i.e. deficits, then we will indeed find ample evidence… Read more
Posted in AI, appreciative, Appreciative Change, Appreciative Inquiry, Appreciative questions, assumptions, Complexity, Culture change, learning, Make a difference, solution-focused | Leave a comment

Change and ensuring great culture doesn’t go in the cuts

As we enter a period of substantial, long-term and  discontinuous change for organisations in all sectors, the reality that we will lose massive experience and talent is unavoidable. The headlines tend to concentrate on the loss of jobs, people and resources – rightly so. There is though another risk of loss that is less obvious yet potentially more damaging to the long term health of an organisation. That is the loss of ‘culture’, i.e. “the way we do things around here”, the often ephemeral yet vital social ‘glue’ that binds many organisations together, sets them apart from the herd. This… Read more
Posted in AI, appreciative, Appreciative Change, Appreciative planning, Behaviours, Culture change, leadership, Positive core, Public sector cuts, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

World Appreciative Inquiry Conference 2012

World Appreciative Inquiry Conference 2012, Ghent. I attended the Conference and a pre-conference AI/Strengths Master Class with David Cooperrider in the two days preceding the conference. There are several webcasts from the Conference really worth viewing. The first is the Conference Opening Keynote speech from Prof. Cooperrider which sets the scene for the three days that followed and also picks up a number of themes from his earlier masterclass, with almost 200 participants. In particular the need to find ways of ‘scaling’ strengths-based approaches to transformation in our cities, organisations and communities and the development of the appreciative models to… Read more
Posted in 4-D, Appreciative Change, Appreciative Inquiry, Appreciative questions, Begeistring Network, Generative, Strengths, Transformation | Leave a comment

A week is a long time…for politicians, journos and top cops

My last blog was but a short week ago, when I bemoaned the deficit behaviours of those in the media spotlight. A list of miscreants which later included those who report on the news as well as those who make it – unwittingly or otherwise. Andy ‘it’s (not) a fair cop’ Hayman turned out to be a mere entre to the firestorm that rapidly engulfed serving senior police officers who were lunched, dinnered, or strategically advised by serving and former NI staffers. I also wrote some time ago that the fox hunt that was developing around the NI story was… Read more
Posted in Appreciative Change, Behaviours, Culture change, Public Service | Leave a comment

Take a deep breath…and then change, appreciatively

The coalition government’s programme develops apace. Whilst it looks to be largely about cuts, reductions, downsizing and closures, with significant reshaping, renewing or refocusing of what remains, in responding (we’re not yet at the proactive ‘predicting what’s next stage’ are we?) the challenge continues to be one of finding ways that protect what works well. To not do so risks losing so much of the excellent practice, innovation and new thinking that characterised some sections of our public services, despite the previous government’s apparent mania for top-down targets, with the attendant unintended consequences that they sometimes created. It’s exactly at… Read more
Posted in Appreciative Change | Leave a comment