Hr Consulting ,trainer -creative Thinking
Vp - Hr
Another area you may want to explore is the work of an American Psychologist, Martin Seligman who has been studying the characteristics of optimism and pessimism for over 25 years.
His work links well with Appreciate Inquiry which was pioneered in the 1980s by David Cooperrider and Suresh Srivastva, two professors at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. AI consultants around the world are increasingly using an appreciative approach to bring about collaborative and strengths-based change in thousands of profit and nonprofit organizations and communities in more than 100 countries.
Appreciative Inquiry is currently revolutionizing the field of organizational development. Robert Quinn, Distinguished Professor of Management, University of Michigan Business School says this:
Watch out Dilbert. Your view of corporations as hotbeds of meaningless work and chronic alienation may hold center stage for now. But an alternative view that finds the glass half full, not half empty, is gaining followers daily. Eventually it will replace your terminally cynical take on the world… One thing’s for sure. Dilbert’s method — to search for and highlight the most hilariously counterproductive workplace behavior and the times when workers are most dispirited — is neatly reversed through the method of “Appreciative Inquiry”, or "AI.”
Eric Raimy, Human Resource Executive says: It is not possible for me to describe the greatest experience of my 16-year consulting practice doing Appreciative Inquiry (AI) with my client Novo Nordisk in Copenhagen. Suffice it to say that all the published AI case studies about group enthusiasm, contribution and results were exceeded by our actual experiences--it was nothing short of amazing! 50+ international HR practice leaders convened for three days to create a Global HR Strategy linked to their Balanced Business Score Card for 2002. This diverse group then presented their performance goals and metrics to their CEO and other executive team members. Their outcomes, and particularly the AI process that produced them, were received very enthusiastically by top management. Indeed, the CEO regarded the work performed by HR for the People Strategy side of the business as significant as any of the other Balanced Score Card initiatives for 2002. Congratulations goes to all my HR colleagues at Novo Nordisk--well done! S. Brett Savage, Ph.D., Director of Consulting Services, BT.Novations
Reporting on Appreciative Inquiry training carried out with USA Navy the reports say:
The Leadership Summit was held at the Naval Postgraduate School, 3-6 December 2001. The first of its kind, the Summit assembled over 260 people ranging from seaman to Admiral, that also represented all backgrounds in our Navy. The Leadership Summit was an application of a new way to view and lead large-scale change called a Large Group Intervention (LGI). Combining LGIs with the positive change approach of Appreciative Inquiry yielded a dynamic summit process for rapid, collaborative change. Hence, the Leadership Summit was aimed at leadership improvement and our Navy's system of leadership development, utilizing an LGI with Appreciative Inquiry to quickly get to decision points with input from all stakeholders.
Background: In January 2000, the Honorable Jerry Hultin, then Under Secretary of the Navy, convened 19 mid-grade officers at the Center for Executive Education at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. The course was called "30-Something" and was a seminal innovation by senior leadership to tap the ideas of mid-level Navy executives. The group was given free rein to envision their Navy/Marine Corps of 2020. While many ideas were developed the group focused around their core vision of a Navy/Marine Corps that could "attract and retain great people." A central part of this goal was leadership.
High quality leadership is a cornerstone for everything our Navy does. As the 21st Century, Information Age Navy takes shape, how will leadership need to adapt? Today's rapid pace of change and increasing uncertainty is fueled by the constant development of new information technologies. This forces our Navy to become more adaptable, faster, and flexible in response. Growing access to information will increase participation in decision making processes. Hence, our people must be ready to respond, in kind, by stepping up to the call for increased responsibility and leadership. Further, the changing values of the Internet generation are an important consideration for all leaders.
Outcomes: During the Leadership Summit, participants used Appreciative Inquiry questions to tap into their own past high-point experiences in the Navy. The diverse group present discovered many commonalties and hopes for the future. The participants then learned how to leverage these past strengths and shared visions to create action plans for positive change. Specific outcomes included over 30 pilot projects.
Additionally, the Leadership Summit:
Created a shared vision and alignment for the kind of leadership the Navy is calling for in its future
Provided spark for Task Force EXCEL's leadership component
Established a method to collect examples of exemplary leadership
Focused on the importance of positive "self-talk" and Appreciative Inquiry as a tool for leaders
Empowered participants with the knowledge of Appreciative Inquiry and the summit method
Demonstrated the value of this methodology for other complex issues facing the Navy
Participants returned with a heightened sense of the possibilities ahead - positive effect on retention
In summary here is what Appreciative Inquiry is all about
1. The questions we ask set the stage for what we find
2. Organizations have multiple interpretations
3. The future we anticipate is the future we create
Appreciative inquiry involves three key stages
1. Discovering the best of…..
2. Understanding what creates the best of…..
3. Amplifying the people and processes that best exemplify the best of……
You spoke of Peter Senge’s 5 th Discipline. In Laws of the 5 th discipline the 11 th law is “ There is no blame game”. Senge challenges us to look at our own thinking processes and understand that all events are connected- the systems model. What we need to master is not the detailed complexity but dynamic complexity.
Trust this has been of some help to you.
17th September 2006 From Sri Lanka, Kolonnawa
On the outset, I am highly appreciative of your educative and informative reply.
The work of Martin Seligman has provoked me to think from not only the perspective of good and bad but also from the mind set and mental models people carry of optimism and pessimism.
Infact, my college has a course on Systems Thinking. Like you have righlty pointed out, Senge expects people to understand that in any system the components are inter-connected, inter-related and inter-dependent.
Thank You once again for your insights.
Anup C Venkat
17th September 2006 From India, Pune
Thank you for your appreciation. As a student, it makes me feel elated to receive feedback from practitioners themselves. It is motivating and helps students like me to be in a continuous improvement mode.
Thank You once again.
Anup Changavalli Venkat
18th September 2006 From India, Pune
What would be some concrete ways in which we can make a group of people move from 'dream' to 'deliver', specially if they are not under the program facilitator's control. How can I equip the group with tools to follow up and actualize the goals they set?
10th May 2010 From India, Mumbai