Jazz Impact

Appreciative Inquiry

What would your business look like if you could experience, in a very real sense, what you are capable of becoming at your absolute best?


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.



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.

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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.



At the heart of the Discovery State lies appreciative improvisations. A semi-structured interview guide is used for one-on-one conversations. Participants are encouraged to discover personal and organizational high points and what they value.

These interviews explore the success factors and personal experiences that contribute to the participants’ personal success and the success of the organization. From these conversations, themes are identified that describe the positive core of the organization.


The purpose of the Dream Stage is to move beyond the status quo and to discuss what the organization would look like if the personal and organizational strengths and aspirations were realized.


At the Design Stage, participants are asked to plan their ideal organization and the social architecture or actual design of systems that give rise to the articulated vision of the possibilities. 


Participants identify their intended actions and ask for support in the Deliver Stage. Self-organized groups plan and carry out the next steps.

Michael Gold is an accredited facilitator of Appreciative Inquiry collaborating with an international staff of organizational development consultants to offer an entirely unique, jazz-based approach to the Appreciative Inquiry Summit.