Appreciative Inquiry - A Positive Approach to Change


Mother and child personify the optimistic &quo...

Appreciative Inquiry is an approach to change that focuses on the positive!  It works on the principle that what is good now that can be built on to achieve a vision for the future.

When thinking about change people often focus on what is wrong now - what is deficient. This has been the traditional approach to change management

Appreciative Inquiry, which has its roots in Positive Psychology, starts the other way round.  It looks at what is good and valuable now and then uses that as a foundation for moving forward.

Once the basis is established you can then explore the future possibilities with much greater confidence.

In all change, something will be lost but with Appreciative Inquiry you work to make sure that much of what is good remains.  It allows people to honour the past and have confidence in the future!

Appreciative Inquiry was developed as a tool for changing organizations but, as an approach, it works very well with people and teams.  It allows them to approach change with greater confidence.

If you work as a coach or consultant using Appreciative Inquiry,  you work with a client to show existing strengths and successes so that you can then work together to bring about positive change.

Appreciative Inquiry uses a cycle of 4 processes that can work for people, groups or whole organizations,

  1. DISCOVER: The identification of what works well now.
  2. DREAM: Envisioning what would work well in the future.
  3. DESIGN: Planning how to deliver what will work well.
  4. DESTINY (or DELIVER): The implementation of the plan

You can read more in these books


Wendy Mason works as a Coach, Consultant and Writer. 

She works with all kinds of people going through many different kinds of personal and career change, particularly those;

  • looking for work

  • looking for promotion or newly promoted

  • moving between Public and Private Sectors

  • facing redundancy

  • moving into retirement

  • wanting to do a mid-life review


You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfconsulting.com  or ring ++44 (0)2084610114

Related articles

The post appears also on my blog Wisewolf Talking - Leadership and Change

Roger Vanstone

rogervanstone3-18294

Appreciative Inquiry - A Positive Approach to Change

Another gem Wendy Thank you for this (and your other posts) very informative and from the top draw. Roger V Recruit12 "Sharing the risk of recruiting"

2 comments

Maurice Poole

mauricepoole-96500

Appreciative Inquiry - A Positive Approach to Change

Great blog, Wendy. There is a Group for Appreciative Inquiry which might interest you. It was started by Kevin Chamberlain but is leaderless now as he found one on LinkedIn was better supported, sadly. Best Regards   Maurice

2 comments