What is Appreciative Inquiry?
Appreciative Inquiry is the act of exploring, discovering, and manifesting
the best in people or the world around us.
1. The Constructionist Principle
Words Create Worlds.
The Constructionist Principle proposes that what we believe to be true determines what we do, and thought and action emerge from relationships. Through the language and discourse of day-to-day interactions, people co-construct the organizations they inhabit. The purpose of inquiry is to stimulate new ideas, stories, and images that generate new possibilities for action.
2. The Simultaneity Principle
Inquiry Creates Change. The First Question is Fateful.
The Simultaneity Principle proposes that, as we inquire into human systems, we change them by introducing the seeds of change. The things people think and talk about - what they discover and learn - are implicit in the very first questions asked. Questions are never neutral: they are fateful. Social systems move in the direction of the questions that are most persistently and passionately discussed.
3. THE POETIC PRINCIPLE
We Can Choose What We Study.
The Poetic Principle proposes that organizational life is expressed in the stories people tell each other every day. The story of the organization is constantly being co-authored, and the words and topics chosen for inquiry have an impact far beyond just the words themselves. They invoke sentiments, understandings, and worlds of meaning. In all phases of the inquiry, effort is put into using words that point to, enliven, and inspire the best in people.
4. The Anticipatory Principle
Image Inspires Action.
The Anticipatory Principle posits that what we do today is guided by our image of the future. Human systems are forever projecting ahead of themselves a horizon of expectation that brings the future powerfully into the present as a mobilizing agent. The more positive and hopeful the image of the future, the more positive the present day action.
5. The Positive Principle
Positive Questions Lead to Positive Change.
The Positive Principle proposes that momentum and sustainable change requires positive affect and social bonding. Sentiments like hope, excitement, inspiration, camaraderie and joy increase creativity, openness to new ideas and people, and cognitive flexibility. They also promote the strong connections and relationships between people - particularly between groups in conflict - that are required for collective inquiry and change.