Appreciative inquiry (AI) consulting is the practice of amplifying and proliferating what people at your company already do well rather than attempting to fix what’s broken. It’s been billed as the opposite of problem solving, and from a business owner’s perspective that’s got to sound weird at best, and destructive at worst. Ironically there are plenty of good reasons to give it a shot. Let’s take a look at what makes appreciative inquiry an effective method, and why you might want to look into it.
Creating A Positive Attitude
First and most obvious, drawing focus on the positive aspects of a workforce’s performance will help to improve morale, promote pride in their work, and motivate them to work harder. Taking away the threat of being caught as part of the ever present and ambiguous “problem” can greatly reduce stress on the average worker and actually reduce a large number of attitude related problems without ever actually addressing them. But that’s not the point of AI; the goal is to take the focus off of the problem and instead think about improvement and innovation.
The first step in improving your organization through AI is to use it to encourage open communication. While most managers verbally encourage communication, they don’t actually build an environment that welcomes it because they’ll still have a “problem solving” attitude. When we’re focusing on what might be deficient in a group of workers they’re going to respond naturally, by getting defensive, shutting down, and trying to find a way to blame co-workers. Building the positive attitude mentioned above let’s team members feel like they’re not in trouble, and that improvement is a team effort rather than something that gets pushed down from the top. Ask someone what they do well (rather than finding issues to nitpick) and they’ll be happy to talk about it and think about ways to amplify those qualities.
For over 25 years, we have delivered workshops tailored to meet the rapidly changing needs of leaders in today’s global economy. Our strategy involves developing individuals, groups and organizations into true “centers of excellence” by cultivating their collective strengths and appreciating the value that is present in all human systems (large or small). By utilizing the existing talents, strengths and resources, our clients are able to connect to their positive core in ways that heighten their energy, sharpen their vision, and inspire action for positive, sustainable change.
How are we different?
We are relationship-focused. We believe the success of any human endeavor is dependent upon the relationships between those involved. We value each person and strive to develop a rapport, trust, and understanding with all of our clients by investing time and energy into understanding each client, their business, and their aspirations.
Trainings are small and intimate. The size of each of our trainings vary based on the location of the event, but rarely exceed 24 participants. Our intimate training sessions allow for extensive interaction between our trainer(s) and participants – allowing each participant to receive more assistance with individual needs.
Intensive and experiential. “We remember best what we experience. We understand best what we identify with. We learn best by doing.” We are aware of the importance of personal experience in the retention of learning. This is the underlying principle used in all of our workshops.
Support. Our intimate training sessions create the perfect environment for networking, motivation, and support with other workshop participants. We encourage participants to continue to share their challenges and experiences with one another even after our trainings have concluded. Support from others can provide the strength needed to continue on the path of positive, sustainable change.
Infused with Appreciative Inquiry. Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a collaborative, strengths-based approach to both personal and organizational development that is proving to be highly effective in thousands of organizations and communities around the world. It is a way of bringing about change that shares leadership and learning, fully engaging everyone in the process. AI empowers our participants to create the processes they wish to use in order to put belief into practice and acquire their goals.
Mentoring included. To ensure the successful implementation of the skill sets taught during our trainings, our trainer(s) make themselves readily available to answer questions, share knowledge, and provide on-going support and encouragement long after the training has concluded.
Certification. Many of our workshops include certification – at no additional cost to you. Certification demonstrates to your customers, competitors, suppliers, staff and investors that you use industry-respected best practices.
Low cost. Evolving positively in today’s changing environment requires that we constantly improve and build upon our skill sets. By providing our workshops at a low cost, we hope to attract more individuals, groups, and organizations who are expected “to do more with less”. We now offer group rates that provide additional savings on top of our already reduced workshop prices.
Expertise. Each of our trainers have a strong commitment to the theory and practice of their subject area — bringing a balance of education, consulting, and on-the-job experience to all of our trainings.