Forms of Engagement

Each training and consulting job we perform is tailored to meet the needs (time, money, and resources), outcomes and objectives of each individual, group, or organization we serve. To ensure that our client’s objectives are met, we may suggest and/or combine various AI methods. Below are some real-life examples where Appreciative Inquiry has been applied.



An individual wants to grow personally and professionally by tapping into their strengths and potential but aren’t sure how to do it.

Appreciative coaching

Appreciative coaching takes the best and helps make it better by expanding people’s capacity to perform and by channeling their abilities for the greatest impact.

Small, focused working groups (e.g. teams, departments) need to generate new knowledge, innovation, and implementation plans.

AI learning teams.

A small group of people conduct an inquiry focused on a specific topic, project or process. During the inquiry, new ideas and themes will emerge.

An organization needs to involve as many of its people as possible, but the constraints of available time are stronger than the benefit of intensive 3 or 4 day sessions.

Progressive AI Meetings.

An organization, small group, or team undergoes the 5 D’s of Appreciative Inquiry (Definition, Discovery, Dream, Design, and Destiny) over the course of several meetings. Duration of each meeting can be determined by the organization.

All stakeholders need to be engaged over time (up to one year) and at multiple locations.

Whole System Dialogue.

A Core Team consisting of stakeholder members will develop and field the inquiry guide and will be responsible for interviewing and engaging everyone in the system over an extended period of time.

Speed is critical. All stakeholders can be engaged, at one location, for multiple days. The days do not need to be consecutive.

AI Summit.

An entire organization, including outside stakeholders, participate in a multiple day training where they experience the 5 D’s of Appreciative Inquiry (Definition, Discovery, Dream, Design, and Destiny).

Members of different organizations want to collaboratively explore and learn about a common area of interest.

AI Consortium.

Representatives from the various organizations come together to develop the focus of inquiry and craft questions to be used for the inquiry guide. After interviews have been conducted, this group will come back together to make meaning of the data collected.

The organization wants to create an appreciative learning culture.

Positive Change Champions.

Members of the organization are training in Appreciative Inquiry, are provided with resources and management support to initiate projects, share materials, stories and best practices, and celebrate all achievements.

The ‘human system’ is large and dispersed (e.g. city, community) and the resources to bring people together are limited.

Mass Mobilization of Inquiry.

Large numbers of interviews, on a socially responsible topic, are conducted through a city or community.

Table is adapted from ‘Advance Appreciative Inquiry Practitioner Training’ handbook.

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