Category Archives: Appreciative Inquiry

Adaptable Leadership in the Public Sector: Courage to take the Strengths-based Approach for Key Outcomes

Introduction The early 2000s was a febrile period for public services in the UK when government expected improved outcomes for increased funding levels and regulatory inspection and audits were expanding in scale and reach. Direct or implicit intervention was an ever present risk if failure was suspected. Resilient and adaptable leaders were expected to craft effective responses to the challenges. Some interventions took the form of relatively ‘light-touch’ oversight of specific services. In other cases the interventions were more dramatic and included: Leadership teams excised from the organisation Interim leaders installed Governmental appointees sent to guide and oversee improvement Councillors… Read more
Posted in Appreciative Inquiry, assumptions, change, Complexity, courage, Culture change, Good-finding, Interims, leadership, Leadership styles, learning, Listening, Local Government, Make a difference, Organisational development, People, Positive core, Public Service, reputation, Strengths, Supporting leaders, Transformation | Leave a comment

It’s people who make organisations work well…and they do so by using their strengths

Strengths-based organisational development People make organisations work well. Not the procedures, processes, structures or governance mechanisms. These elements can all assist, as well as frustrate, the effective working of an organisation, but they rarely if ever play the pivotal role that people do in delivering what an organisation is about. Our coaching and thought-support work with clients invariably tells us that the deficit or weakness-centred approach to individual and organisational development is strong and worryingly prevalent. It is easy to get stuck in our old ways of thinking. It is also easy to get stuck in our relationships and act… Read more
Posted in Appreciative Inquiry, change, Deficit, Executive coaching, not problem-solving, Organisational development, Positive core, productivity, Strengths, Talents | 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

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

Experiment! Don’t wait to be an expert to try some thing new

  In a recent blog post at Random Acts of Leadership, http://randomactsofleadership.com/experiment-like-an-expert/ Susan Mazza introduced the notion that too often we wait until we are ‘experts’ in something before we have the confidence to act. Whereas in her recent experience the way forward is often to give ourselves permission to experiment; to follow two rules: STOP trying to figure it all out and START experimenting! Experience is truly the best teacher This reminded me of how I became involved with and then started to use Appreciative Inquiry (AI). I first heard of AI at a business breakfast event in 2001… Read more
Posted in AI, Appreciative Inquiry, courage, Strengths, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Open Channel – October Newsletter

We are delighted to welcome you to the October 2012 edition of The Open Channel Newsletter. The Open Channel is a venture borne out of a passion for supporting change and our belief in the strength of people and organisations. Janet Dean and Steve Loraine are senior practitioners in public sector service delivery and work collaboratively with private sector, voluntary and community organisations.  Do contact us to find out how we can assist you to manage your change challenges. Led by Janet Dean and Steve Loraine, two highly respected and experienced independent public service advisers, The Open Channel has a… Read more
Posted in Accelerated Learning, Action Learning, AI, Appreciative Inquiry, Appreciative planning, Dementia without Walls, People, Performance Review, Process, SOAR, Strengths | Leave a comment

The Open Channel Newsletter September 2012

THE OPEN CHANNEL NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER 2012 We are delighted to welcome you to the latest edition of The Open Channel Newsletter. The Open Channel was created from the germ of an idea in February 2011. Since then we have launched our website, set up our regular blogs and social media links and delivered services to clients. This newsletter brings you quality content on a regular basis. Do contact us to find out how we can assist you to manage your change challenges. Find Out More http://www.theopenchannel.co.uk/ If you are a public body, private service provider, voluntary and community delivery organisation… Read more
Posted in Action Learning, AI, Appreciative Inquiry, change, Harborough DC, Newsletter, The Open Channel | 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

Come and co-create the European Appreciative and Strengths-focused Network

Just a week before the World Appreciative Inquiry Conference in Ghent, a group of fellow AI practitioners is publishing this open letter to all appreciative and strengths-focused practitioners and our clients, inviting you to invest in the next stage of the development of the European network and its web home. A small group of us has been working for months since the Manchester Network meeting in November 2011 to develop ideas and proposals to create a stronger resource-base for the www.networkplace.eu home of AI in Europe and to deepen the influence of the stakeholders in what’s known as the Begeistring… Read more
Posted in Appreciative Inquiry, Begeistring Network, co-create, European Network, Strengths | Leave a comment