Category Archives: appreciative

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

SOARING to new strategic heights

This coming Wednesday is an important day for Optimum Interventions. Back in June – September 2011 I facilitated a series events for a senior management team and the Trustees of an important charity focused on providing services to the members of a ‘blue-light’ public service. The theme of those events was planning for the future of the charity and those who benefit from its services. This week we return to start to refresh the strategic planning process for 2013; we will be using the SOAR framework, as we did in 2011. Why SOAR? Well, across many years the SWOT model… Read more
Posted in appreciative, Charities, SOAR, Strategic Planning, Strengths | 1 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

Does it have to be like this?

It’s been quite a week or two from a number of perspectives, with several occurrences that have caused me more than a little pause for thought (and emotion) around people, services, systems and perhaps leadership. The examples and analysis I offer are less felt as an organisational consultant, ‘though I do analyse these things from more than one perspective, and much more about what I find as a consumer, client, customer; call me what you will. Nor are these stories meant as gratuitious criticisms, borne out of a simple impatience or ingratitude. They are offered more as a narrative as… Read more
Posted in appreciative, Behaviours, Culture change, customer service, leadership, Leadership styles, Metaphor, reputation, service quality | 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

Barclays, banking and failure – how to generate new directions through AI.

The Guardian web has just published an article that shows perfectly where several of the key players stand on the ‘Barclays Affair’ and other recent misdeads of the ‘masters of universe.’ “The government is to order a review of the operation of the inter-bank lending rate, or Libor, following revelations of its frequent abuse by Barclays and other banks. The move follows Ed Miliband’s call for a public inquiry into the “institutional corruption” of the banking industry after a series of banking scandals. A spokeswoman for Downing Street said the review would be independent but that details of who would… Read more
Posted in AI, appreciative, banks, Generative | Leave a comment