Appreciative Inquiry is a wonderful organizational development model developed by David Cooperrider at Case Western University that is very applicable to what is happening in today’s economy. When dealing with problem solving and change, many times how we ask the question and what vision we create has a direct impact on how we solve the problem. For instance, instead of asking ‘what are our problems?’ or ‘what are we weak at?’, we can instead ask ‘what are our are strengths and how can we make them stronger?’. In Appreciative Inquiry there are four phases:
1.DISCOVER: The identification of organizational processes that work well.
2.DREAM: The envisioning of processes that would work well in the future.
3.DESIGN: Planning and prioritizing processes that would work well.
4.DESTINY (or DELIVER): The implementation (execution) of the proposed design
It is a strong addition to what I originally wrote in Flexible Thinker For our economic woes, if we look at phase 1 and ask ourselves what are our processes that work well. For instance, we are good at entrepreneurship and creativity. There is a reason companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple. Blackberry and Intel were founded in North America. Because we are free and are measured not by our lineage but by our accomplishments.
In process 2, we can dream of ways to make it easier to be create. These include less and more streamlined regulations to allow businesses to start. Investment in small business to help people have the capital to make their visions a reality.
In Phase 3 we can start to brainstorm ways to implement that vision. It could be discarding unnecessary paperwork and out-of-date process or finding ways to directly invest in various businesses and ideas.
Finally in Phase 4, we build SMART plans (Specific, Measurable, Actions, Realistic, Timeframe) to make those plans a reality.
By looking positively at what is the best of us, no matter your political persuasion, you build on the strengths we have. In other words, by focusing on the positive we achieve positive results.