Appreciation + Inquiry = Innovation

The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us, a day dedicated to spending time with family and friends and reflecting on the many things we are thankful for. While we are gearing up for the festive holiday filled with delicious dinner dishes and desserts, it is also a time to reflect on all that we are appreciative of on a professional level.

As a leader, what are you truly thankful for? I am thankful for the opportunity to influence change and overall potential of our team using Appreciative Inquiry. This focus uses both a worldview and a process for facilitating positive change in the world that surrounds us all.
The Center for Appreciative Inquiry highlights that every human system has something that works right…things that give it life when it is vital, effective, and successful. This begins by identifying this positive core and connecting to it in ways the heighten energy, sharpen vision, and inspire action for change. I have used this in helping organizations re-evaluate, reposition and re-deploy actions to meet urgent issues and think forward strategies for ongoing success. Appreciative Inquiry uses the following 5-D Cycle:
  1. Define – Clarifying your project’s purpose, content, and what needs to be achieved.
  2. Discover – Appreciating the best of ‘what works’ to rediscover what are your organization’s successes, strengths and periods of excellence.
  3. Dream – Envisioning ‘what could be’ by using past achievements and successes identified in the discovery phase to imagine new possibilities and guide your future.
  4. Design – Co-Constructing ‘what should be’ by bringing the ‘best of what is’ together with ‘what might be’, to create ‘what should be – the ideal’.
  5. Destiny – Innovating ‘what will be’ identifies how the design is delivered, and how it’s implemented.
In an ever-changing industry landscape, appreciation and inquiry drive innovation. Redesign, collaboration, and innovation are critical to our future. Fully engage your team and organization for change through Appreciative Inquiry and open dialogue, bringing out the best in your team and yourself!
Written by:

Lisa Thomson
Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer