“The traditional approach to change is to look for the problem, do a diagnosis, and find a solution. The primary focus is on what is wrong or broken; since we look for problems, we find them. By paying attention to problems, we emphasize and amplify them. …Appreciative Inquiry suggests that we look for what works in an organization. The tangible result of the inquiry process is a series of statements that describe where the organization wants to be, based on the high moments of where they have been. Because the statements are grounded in real experience and history, people know how to repeat their success.”
Hammond, Sue. The Thin Book of Appreciative Inquiry. Thin Book Publishing Company, 1998, pages 6-7.
“Appreciative Inquiry focuses us on the positive aspects of our lives and leverages them to correct the negative. It’s the opposite of ‘problem-solving.”
White, T.H. Working in Interesting Times: Employee morale and business success in the information age. Vital Speeches of the Day, May 15, 1996, Vol XLII, No. 15.
“Appreciative Inquiry [is] a theory and practice for approaching change from a holistic framework. Based on the belief that human systems are made and imagined by those who live and work within them, AI leads systems to move toward the generative and creative images that reside in their most positive core – their values, visions, achievements, and best practices.” “AI is both a world view and a practical process. In theory, AI is a perspective, a set of principles and beliefs about how human systems function, a departure from the past metaphor of human systems as machines. Appreciative Inquiry has an attendant set of core processes, practices, and even ‘models’ that have emerged. In practice, AI can be used to co-create the transformative processes and practices appropriate to the culture of a particular organization.” “Grounded in the theory of ‘social constructionism,’ AI recognizes that human systems are constructions of the imagination and are, therefore, capable of change at the speed of imagination. Once organization members shift their perspective, they can begin to invent their most desired future.”