Who is the Core Team comprised of?
Appreciative Inquiry is about the inclusive and democratic nature of an organization. Ideally, the core team (planning team) should comprise of all stakeholders of the organization, both internal and external. We like to think of the core team as a slice of an organization (similar to taking a slice of cake ~ all layers should be included). The more diversity (ethnicity, job position, years of service, age, etc.) we have in the core team, the more we will be working with the spirit and philosophy of Appreciative Inquiry.
What is the Core Team responsible for?
The Core Team is responsible for designing, orchestrating, and executing the AI Summit throughout the entire process, from start to finish. The Core Team will be the “ones who line Appreciative Inquiry to the organization’s core issues or opportunities, and who ensure that the AI Summit is tailored to meet the needs and culture of the organization” (Ludema, 29). This includes, but is not limited to, the following activities:
- Collaborate with AI Facilitators. Core Team members should make themselves available to the AI facilitators to adequately plan a Summit. This can be done through phone calls, face-to-face and/or virtual meetings (Skype), or email.
- Define the Positive Focus. Defining the Positive Focus is one of the most, if not the most important step in the entire process. The Positive Focus “Defines the inquire and provides the framework for subsequent interviews, data collection, action taking, and follow-up” (Ludema, 76).
- Construct and Field Test the Interview Guide. The Interview Guide creates the momentum for positive change in the AI Summit. An effective Interview Guide includes affirmative topics that relate to the Positive Focus. The Core Team may need to field test their interview guide several times until all of the discussions and energy focuses on the Positive Focus – enabling Summit participants to discover, envision, and design it into the fabric of the organization.
- Generate energy for the Summit. Communicating and promoting the Summit is important. The purpose of communication before the Summit is simple: to inform people about the Summit and to generate excitement and energy for it. This will require that the Core Team members know what an AI Summit is, why it is happening, and why participation is essential to the success of the Summit
Ludema, J. D., Whitney, D., Mohr, B., & Griffin T. J. (2003). The Appreciative Inquiry Summit: a Practitioner’s Guide for Leading Large-Group Change. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler.