Appreciative Inquiry Facilitators & events…

AI – Appreciative Inquiry & Business Strategy Coaching Overview

Appreciative Inquiry…“ . . . it is through language that we create the world, because it’s nothing until we describe it.  And when we describe it, we create distinctions that govern our actions.  To put it another way, we do not describe the world we see, but we see the world we describe.”  –  Joseph Jaworski
As it has evolved, there are a number of ways in which to conduct an appreciative inquiry, but the processes all tend to follow a common path: Discovery (conducting appreciative interviews and identifying the themes and life-giving forces), Dream (developing provocative propositions for the future), Design (integrating wishes for the future with plans for needed changes to structure, systems and processes) and Destiny and DO it! (making it happen and making it sustainable over time)

Appreciative enquiry is a new way of approaching problem solving, team-building and solution development.

Appreciative Inquiry works from a set of assumptions.

These are:

1. In every society, organisation or group, something works well.
2. What we focus on, becomes our reality.
3. Reality is created in the moment, and there are multiple realities.
4. The act of asking questions of a person, or group influences the group/person in some way.
5. People have more confidence to journey to the future (the unknown) when they carry forward parts of the past (the known).
6. If we carry forward parts of the past, they should be what is best about our past.
7. It is important to value differences.
8. The language we use creates our reality and experience.

While these may seem obvious, we know from our own experience that we can look at what isn’t working and start problem solving. This pulls us backwards/downwards rather than forwards.  If we focus on difficulties in the past, people become self defensive and feel that life is hopeless.  When we ask them about their successes, they become enthusiastic and start to hope again and explore possibility.

Appreciative Inquiry Cycle

Discovery: The Appreciative Inquiry approach to personal, or organisational, change is to begin by looking for what is working -APPRECIATING the best of our experience.
Dream: This is to consider what might be – ENVISIONING RESULTS
Design: What should be the ideal? – CO-CONSTRUCTING
Destiny: How to empower, learn & adjust or improvise – SUSTAINING
Do-It: Action towards achievement – Commitment, response, behavioral ACTION

The tangible result of the Appreciative Inquiry process is a series of statements that describe where the person or organisation wants to be, based on the best moments of where they have been. Because these statements are based in real experience and history, people know how to repeat their success. They have created before, they can create once again. The purpose is to reconnect with the life giving forces-what is working, and then go beyond that to, what could be if we expanded our paradigm of possibility.


* Discovery : What do you want more of? – Tell me about those times in your career when you felt most alive, engaged, energized; when everything worked to produce the desired results.

What factors in the environment, the organization, the team contributed to this wonderful experience? What did you do to contribute?  What do you value about yourself as a professional and what you have to offer?
What is the core factor which gives life to your work, without which work would not be the same?
What 3 wishes would you make to enhance the life and vitality of your work and life?

* Dream: Guided imagery or meditation followed by creation of story, picture, song, etc. which depicts the ideal future work situation. Creation of the ideal job description, life style or experiences.

* Design: Creation of a purpose statement. Creation of a resume geared to the desired situation. Creation of a profile of the ideal company. Evolution of a strategy for creating an incredible experience or lifestyle.

* Destiny: How do you make a difference that really makes a difference on a sustainable basis, that fits in with your passion, talents & capabilities.

* DO-IT!:  What can you do right now to move powerfully towards your Purpose/Goals in an incremental, step by step process. What behavioral changes are required to sustain momentum. What shifts are required in the workplace culture and team interactions to ensure everyone is part of the action?

“The truth is that within each one of us lies the power to cast all misery aside and to KNOW complete Peace and Oneness – to BE that beautiful creation of perfect harmony – to truly know (help) Myself.”  – Mary Burmeister

Appendix – What is Business Coaching?

“If we’re going to change the corporation, we have to educate the corporation, and we have to start right at the top. That’s difficult because the people who got there arrived there by using different skills to the ones that they need today.”

 Coaching is based upon a one-on-one partnership, with clear objectives, facilitated discussion and is results-oriented. It enables the individual to exploit their full potential and complements other developmental processes.

 Coaching is a partnership that focuses on agreed positive empowerment through the setting of clear goals.

 Coaching is a one on one interaction that focuses on the client taking responsibility for their own personal growth and results, thereby triggering into action events that are designed to improve the bottom line results of the company and the person’s life. It is about clarity, focus, awareness, action and results management.

 Coaching is a confidential relationship; it is a partnership between 2 people to create a vision; to strategise new ways to move forward in and an elegant manner in which to overcome stumbling blocks that involve the emotional, spiritual, commercial and mental sides of the psyche. It is meant to push and stretch people, to be demanding and to rapidly deliver the planned and desired results.

 Coaching deals with specific outcomes and goals, a ‘wheel of life’, balance, milestones and is about what the person will hear, see and feel when the vision is manifested.

 Coaching is about achieving RESULTS, quicker & simpler.

The requirement for a balanced approach indicates that the coaching process needs to provide an opportunity to expand the individual on all levels, to stretch boundaries, and to facilitate enhanced performance at the individual’s unique level of potential.

Is your company sharp enough to offer executive business coaching or counseling?
According to research by Manchester, a human capital consulting services, astute companies are focusing more closely on developing the leadership abilities of managers and executives internally through effective coaching and mentoring programs.  About 6 out of 10 (59%) organisations currently offer coaching or other developmental counselling to managers and executives. Another 20% of organizations surveyed indicated that they plan to offer such coaching and support services within the next 12 months.

Companies are providing coaching to managers and executives for both leadership development and corrective reasons.

The top reasons for organisations to provide coaching:

86% – To upgrade and sharpen leadership skills of high-potential individuals
72% – To correct management behaviour challenges that affect productivity and workplace results
64% – To fast-track and accelerate the success of newly promoted managers
59%- To correct internal politics and employee relations issues
58% – To support and upgrade technical people’s management and leadership skills

Benefits of Business Coaching

“Coaching fulfils a deep inner need all human beings have – the desire to be heard and understood without judgment.” – Eggers and Clark (2000)

Some of the issues covered centre around relationships, management and leadership.  Time/Resource/priority management as a business skill is discussed often and other issues raised cover assertion, balance between work and family, self-confidence and decision-making, confidential sounding board, honest feedback, new Insights and ideas and holding to commitments.

…Now you can have someone with a business background that you can relate to.

Handy (1994) quotes Tony Benn as saying: “There are kings and prophets, the kings have the power and the prophets have the principles.” He states that the kings are the ones who make things happen (Actions), but that every king needs a prophet (Sounding-board/Coach), to help him keep a clear and focused head amidst the confusions. “Most of all, they can offer new ways of thinking about things, a way to clarify the dilemmas and concentrate the mind on the desired end results.

Life Masters Business Coaching delivers Behavioral Shifts… whaich transform your actions and results