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APPRECIATIVE
INQUIRY
PRINCIPLES

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PRESENCE

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PARADIGMS

PRINCIPLES

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PROCESS

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PARTS & PIECES

The 6 principles provide a fundamental reference to which we can continually return to as we seek to understand and bring this "AI perspective" to clarity by clarifying the elements that guide any intervention from this perspective. At the heart of all appreciative work are principles.

These principles allow us to "verify" the power of the process that we are going to propose for the desired transformation. Each principle invites us to ask ourselves questions and to remind ourselves of the focus to which each of them invites us.
If we take a culinary metaphor, the process would be the recipe and the principles would be the ingredients. You can follow the recipe to the letter and end up with a tasty dish. If you know how to manipulate the ingredients and mix them you will not only be able to make the recipe a success, and even change the recipe to make it your own! 

Initially, the founder of AI had defined 5 key principles and added one later. Other authors have added additional principles. Knowing the first 6 is already essential and sufficient.

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It is important to choose your starting point because everything on which

wefocus our attention becomes more important

 

  • We can choose what we explore, what we study. A painter in front of the same landscape will be interested in a particular point of view, which he will find the most interesting, the most inspiring. 

  • What this principle invites us to remember: it is the FOCUS that counts. There may be a significant number of topics. This principle invites us by associating it with the Positive / Generative principle to define which one will be the most stimulating for all.

  • Question:

    • what is the focus of your research, what do you want to transform?

    • in our stories, our situations, our projects, what are the aspects on which we want to focus because they are more generative than others?

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Words create the worlds we live in

  • There is no objective reality: reality is the one we construct in our interactions, it is subjective.  The reality is "local", it is that of the organization, of the person (not a reality that comes from outside). 

  • What principle invites us to remember: words can represent very different meanings from one person to another, it invites us to explore the meaning of these by showing us as curious as possible what the other means.

  • Question: 

    • What conversations are we creating to generate a larger, shared and evolving reality?

    • What conversations are important to have about your topics and with whom?

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All people, organizations and experiences have a positive core that expands as it is explored.

  • The generative aspect (new ideas, energies, aspirations) is more engaged when we focus them on resources, strengths, positive energies rather than on shortages, deficits, problems. Positive emotions are a powerful engine for moving forward.

  • What principle invites us to remember: focus on resources: what is available vs what is lacking, what works vs what does not work, talents vs shortcomings ...

  • Question: 

    • What are we currently focusing on our conversations, our decisions etc ...

    • What are we paying attention to? What works, possible, available, can be activated or what does not work, which is difficult to access or activate? 

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Positive images contribute

to create a positive future.

  • People's behavior and the decisions they make to take action are determined by what they think or imagine about their future.  Having inspiring images of the future is more powerful than having a solid plan because the images inspire action in the direction of the desired future. Our images inspire our actions , our organizations and people set out in the direction of the future they have helped to create.

  • What principle invites us to remember: focus on resources: what is available vs what is lacking, what works vs what does not work, talents vs shortcomings ...

  • Question:  

    • What are we currently focusing on our conversations, our decisions etc ...

    • What are we paying attention to? What works, is possible, available, can be activated or what does not work, which is difficult to access or activate? 

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Questioning is change!  

 

  • The change happens as soon as we start asking questions. They are simultaneous events, any question or comment pulls the thought in one direction. In other words: questioning is intervention! 

  • What Principle invites us to remember: The questions we ask are key to moving towards a solution. We are responsible for the questions we ask and the effects they generate.

  • Question:  

    • What questions do we ask that generate the most solutions, energy, encouragement? 

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Pay attention to the integrity of the system!

 

  • Our organizations are complex: it is impossible to break them down into smaller parts in the hope of better understanding them: it is important to take the system as a whole, in its integrity. This is envisaged in an organizational way by inviting all the stakeholders of a system to participate and this too is envisaged individually to "convene" all the parts of an individual within the framework of a work: head, heart, body ...

  • What principle invites us to remember: it invites us to widen the implication of the questions where often we could limit the implication to the experts! 

  • Question:  

    • who are the people to integrate into our operation?

    • Are all the elements of the system present in one way or another?

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