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How Appreciative Inquiry Questions Work, With Robyn Stratton-Berkessel – PS040

How Appreciative Inquiry Questions Work, Episode Overview

RSB Resized to 400 by 600 approxThis episode is Part II of a two-part show.  Kathy Becker, CEO of the Center for Appreciative Inquiry interviews Robyn Stratton-Berkessel. Both are Appreciative Inquiry Practitioners and professional colleagues. In the previous episode, Part I, Robyn interviews Kathy demonstrating  the Appreciative Inquiry Discovery Interview.  In this episode the roles are reversed and Kathy interviews Robyn.  We demonstrate how Appreciative Inquiry Questions work. Appreciative Inquiry is a positive approach to change which has been used globally for almost 30 years. It seeks to inspire, mobilize, and sustain, employee engagement and collaborations.

Introduction

It's my great pleasure to be interviewed by Kathy Becker.  As the creator of Positivity Strategist, let me introduce myself.  My name is Robyn Stratton-Berkessel, and I am most grateful that you've come to my website and are listening in to my show.

In a nutshell, I'm an author, a speaker, a podcast host, an app developer, a designer and facilitator, and coach.  My strengths are leading positive change. I partner with executives and teams around the world, designing and delivering high impact and positive change with a focus on co-creating cultures of ownership, inclusion and collaboration.  You can find out more about my journey on my About Page.  If you scroll to the bottom of that page, you'll find out how I was an annoyance factor in my earlier years and the shift I underwent in my life.

High Point Experiences as an Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator

Being interviewed is such a wonderful opportunity to actually experience the work I love – as participants in my workshops do.  Instead of interviewing or facilitating others, I am in the participant's chair.  I have the chance to talk about the work I do from a very special place.  I talk about a high point experience in my career as an Appreciative Inquiry Practitioner.

You’ll hear not only the unfolding story of a high point Appreciative Inquiry experience, but some of behind-the-scenes set-up as well.

Appreciative Inquiry Questions

Below is the generic Appreciative Inquiry Discovery Interview Protocol.

Listen in to the episode to hear the responses to each of these questions and learn much more about the Appreciative Inquiry experience.


1 What has been a high-point experience for you as an Appreciative Inquiry practitioner, when you felt most alive, successful, and effective? Please share your story.

  • What was the situation?
  • Who was involved?
  • What happened?
  • What was the experience like for the client group and you?
  • How did you feel?

2Without being humble, what do you value most about yourself, your work, and how it’s organized?

3What are the core factors that make this work function at its best, when it feels a perfect fit for who you are, and you see how this work impacts your clients.  What are some of those impacts?

4What are three wishes for the future of this work for you as an AI practitioner?


Appreciative Inquiry Case Study - How Appreciative Inquiry Questions WorkBonus Offer: Free Case Study Download

To learn more about this Appreciative Inquiry Summit, please download the full case study co-authored by the client and and the Appreciative Inquiry Practitioner.

You will learn about the entire process from detailed preparation leading up to the summit, the design of the summit, the team work that make it works so powerfully, the project milestones, the participant experience and their outcomes.btn_Download

 

Delighting Clients

As you listen in, you’ll learn not only about my personal high point experiences doing my work, but also how it impacts everyone involved.  You will hear what happens when people share their stories and feel truly heard. You will hear what outcomes result from the conversations that happen. You will hear how an Appreciative Inquiry Summit is organized.  You will hear how the clients are delighted.

Links Mentioned In This Episode

  • Robyn’s Twitter            

Books Mentioned In This Episode

 

Let's Stay Connected

It's always great to hear from you. Please connect with me to ask questions or leave comments about this episode or the podcast in general, and there are several good ways to do this:

  • Share your questions and ideas on the Podcast Feedback page
  • Leave a voice message here, and we may feature your question on an upcoming episode
  • Leave a comment on the show notes below

Help Spread the Message of Positivity!

I would be extremely appreciative if you would subscribe, rate or review our Positivity Strategist podcast. Your ratings and comments will help a lot to spread the message! Here is a guide to writing a quick review, click on iTunes and Stitcher.

Listen to Stitcher

Subscribe-iTunes-180x120

Subscribe Via RSS

If this episode was helpful or enjoyable to you,

  • I invite you to share it using the social media buttons on the bottom of this page.
  • I'd love it if you can leave a quick review, on iTunes and Stitcher.

Finding Energy for Positive Change will Boost your Productivity

positive changeWe’re educated to use our so called “left brain” to be analytical and solve problems and make endless lists and focus on things that need changing because they don't work.  Think about your meetings at work and other social interactions throughout your life.

This trajectory most likely started with how your parents taught you to be a good boy or girl growing up. It continued with your relationships with teachers at school, and then your bosses at work.

This meme seems to be the traditional way across most post industrial cultures.  We value our analytical brain, our executive brain, but that brain doesn’t run our lives when we are faced with fear or anxiety or the unknown, or when feeling discomfort or insecurity and especially when we feel vulnerable.

Recently, I was present in a meeting after a software roll out in an global bank.  They name these meetings “post mortems.”  Really!  The language is already ominous.  It smells of death.  The leaders of the meeting, by default, as most of us do, focused immediately on the things that went wrong and failed in the rollout.

Indeed, these things needed addressing, but the tone of the meeting within minutes of starting was spiraling downwards fast and people’s energy was deflating and eye contact dropping to the floor for fear of the blame game.

Energy Spiraling Upward

So, imagine if the team members (or the leader) had started the meeting with:

“We’ve just had a global roll out of a product we’ve been working so hard on together for months, and it went pretty well. In fact, it went great!

“Let’s start this meeting congratulating ourselves by spending a few minutes on what worked well from our individual perspectives and then we’ll address what we need to change.

What are we proud of in this roll out?  What good feedback have we had from clients?  What really worked well?”

The tone and the energy starts to pick up and spiral upward, a different set of chemicals fire within the brain and there’s energy to listen to each other, collaborate and increase engagement and productivity.  Solutions to problems and a willingness to address them begin to emerge without even having to drag them out of reluctant mouths.

RS_2005_04_29_0588The people in the room experience a different energy and begin to initiate changes from a place of engaged, solution-focused creativity and possibility.

Energy for Positive Change

This is one of the lessons of embracing change from a valuing or appreciative perspective.  You first discover and focus on what works and all the existing assets and then the weaknesses or faults begin to come into the conversation and they get addressed also – but from a very different place.  It’s a place of we’re-in-this-together:  we’ve just praised ourselves for what went well, and now we can together begin to address what we need to fix and improve on.

Appreciative Inquiry

In summary then, Appreciative Inquiry  (AI) as a change methodology looks for what’s already working well in a person or situation, not what’s broken. It takes a little practice to make that shift, as our default seems to look for what’s wrong in ourselves, each other and society at large.

One of the key principles of AI is ‘what you study grows’.  If you study deficits, you’ll find many, and if you study success, you’ll find a lot of it. Appreciative Inquiry is both a way of thinking and doing.  It provides a framework and a method to initiate positive emotions,  thoughts and actions that can produce outcomes directed with intentionality toward affirming life, heightening positive energy and uplifting the human spirit.

How do You View Change?

Focus on the changes in your own life.  If you stop to appreciate what you have already working for yourself, in terms of what has helped you to get to where you are today – it could be your past achievements, past successes, past and present relationships, your network, your skill sets, your personal attributes – you might just have a shift in perspective about what you might change, or how you might view certain changes that are happening to you.

What’s your default disposition to change? What kind of changes do you fear and avoid at all costs; and what kind of changes do you embrace with positive energy?

I’d love to hear from you as I'm developing an online course on change and I'd love to hear your perspective.

 

Appreciative Inquiry – Overview of Method, Principles and Applications

10 minute read

My intention with this resource is to provide an overview of Appreciative Inquiry for people who are new to this strength-based, transformational, positive change methodology.

My Intention for this Resource

This resource is an overview of the change methodology Appreciative Inquiry. Topics covered:

  • What it is
  • How it is a strength-based, positive framework
  • What it can achieve through collaborative conversations
  • The 4-D process of Appreciative Inquiry
  • How it can be applied personally and professionally
  • The guiding principles
  • The importance of affirmative questions
  • The value of story-telling in Appreciative Inquiry

My wish is that you will be more curious and excited about the possibilities of this life-centric, positive approach to change after reading it.  And, there are many more posts and stories throughout Positivity Strategist if your interest has been piqued.

 What is Appreciative Inquiry?

Seeing with Appreciative Eyes

What is Appreciative Inquiry?

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a change methodology grounded in theories from the disciplines of organization behavior and the sciences of sociology and psychology, with a good dose of metaphyics. Those of us who practice AI refer to it as both a way of being and doing.

Appreciative Inquiry is a perspective on the world that invites us to see ourselves and the world through an appreciative or valuing eye.  We are made aware that how we use language, how we ask questions, and what stories we tell shape our own and collective destinies.

Appreciative Inquiry CertificateEarning my certification in Positive Business and Society Change Program at Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University in 2004 with Professors David Cooperrider and Ron Fry has been a high point of my personal and professional life.  It has enabled me to meet extraordinary people and contribute in ways I had never dreamed possible, adding to the body of work in this field.

Definition of Appreciative Inquiry

From the Handbook of Appreciative Inquiry, (link here) here’s a comprehensive definition:

Appreciative Inquiry is the co-evolutionary, co-operative search for the best in people, their organizations, and the relevant world around them … AI involves the art and practice of asking questions that strengthen a system’s capacity to apprehend, anticipate and heighten positive potential … AI practice focuses on the speed of the imagination and innovation.  Instead of negative, critical, and spiraling diagnoses commonly used in our organizations … there is discovery, dream, design and destiny.”

Organizational Change

Appreciative Inquiry Summit

Organizational Change

Appreciative Inquiry is an affirming way to embrace human, institutional and organizational change.  As a change methodology, AI offers a life-centric structured approach to energize people in organizations to move in the direction of what they most desire.  Its framework focuses organizational members on their existing core capacities, strengths and successes; it invites them to to envision a desired future; it initiates collaborations to design projects and activities the members are willingly commit to.

This change methodology has the perspective that every system, human and otherwise, has something that works right already —things that contribute to its aliveness, effectiveness, and success, connecting it in healthy ways to its stakeholders and the wider community.   With the Appreciative Inquiry perspective, we can create positive change that can be sustainable, thereby expanding capacity for wellbeing and flourishing. Read more

How To Facilitate Lasting Change, with Alan Kay – PS012

Robyn Stratton-Berkessel, Positivity Strategist Host and Appreciative Inquiry Practitioner, and her guest Alan Kay, Solution Focused Facilitator, exchange views and stories about these two change methodologies which are similar, yet distinct.

Both approaches hold the premise that in any system, human or otherwise, there are many things that work well already, and that’s the best play to start any change initiative.  It’s much more energizing and lasting to have the members of an organization identify their own capacities and come up with their own solutions than have an outside consultant do it for them.

How To Facilitate Lasting Change – Episode Summary

Alan Kay Photo of Facilitating Lasting ChangeIn this episode of Positivity Strategist, my guest is Alan Kay, a Solution Focused Change Consultant and “a fully recovered ad-guy,”  as he also refers to himself.

Alan’s consultancy is called The Glasgow Group. His accent is a clue as to why that might be, yet he lives in Canada.  Alan works internationally with a wide range of organizations, in the areas of strategic planning, management development, customer experience and stakeholder consultation.

Alan has authored a book with an intriguing title Fry the Monkey’s Create a Solution – an extremely practical book.  Links to Alan's work are below.

Alan shares some of his experiences in the work he does helping people in organizations through the framework of Solution Focused.  And, I happily add my perspectives from the lens of Appreciative Inquiry.

To Quote Alan:

“Change is inevitable. The world is changing faster than ever before. As people, we tend to resist change. But to move forward, we need to make the most of change. Change will liberate and strengthen the organization. Solution focus’ (SF) is an approach to create listening and understanding, and how to capitalize on and speed up change.”

Energizing Work

Alan learnt from his training in Solution Focused Therapy more than 18 years ago at the Hincks Dellcrest Institute in Toronto that its application in organizations is highly relevant in a wide range of contexts.  What’s particularly energizing is that this framework sees the client as the expert and not the consultant.  The client owns the solution. Alan was inspired to learn how to ask better questions through the Solution Focused framework.  He helps his client groups address the issues the way they see it and reveal answers that they themselves identify.  Alan is always energized by the progress the client makes.

What is Client Resistance?

Pure facilitation bypasses resistance.  Resistance is often a result of the consultant or facilitator moving at a different pace from the client.  And sometimes, the enthusiasm of the consultant or facilitator can get in the way of achieving the outcomes the client wants.  It may require the facilitator to slow down to the clients’ pace allowing them to work with the skills and knowledge they have.

Listen to Alan’s good story of how he helps a client overcome resistance – how he breaks down barriers of people who don’t want to participate in change.  Often, anger and frustration can be overcome by tapping into the resources they have at their disposal, which may be off target, but it helps them make good progress;  this allows time and space for them then to get back on target.

Solution Focused Framework and Questions

The job is to help the client become self-reliant. Good questions facilitate clients owning the solutions. There’s a rich toolbox of better questions to help facilitate moving the conversation forward.  Being thoughtful about the use of the questions on behalf the client is important.

Alan’s book, Fry the Monkeys Create a Solution (link below) simply and clearly sets out the Solution Focused framework, and a range of better questions for a range of different contexts.  Here are just three examples:

“When this happened before, what helped to make things better?”

 

“What resources do you have to deal with this sort of circumstance?”

 

“How will you know that we have made some progress?”

To hear the story why Alan called his book, Fry the Monkeys Create a Solution, you’ll need to listen in!

Appreciative Inquiry and Solution Focused

Appreciative Inquiry and Solution Focused are both strength-based approaches; both work to change the organization's narrative by facilitating the members themselves to envision a future that is purposeful and positive.  Both appproaches ask very good questions to shift the narrative by having everyone contribute to the organization's most desired future.  The Quality of the questions is a significant part of both frameworks.  Appreciate Inquiry focuses strongly on personal and organizational stories as a way to identify existing strengths and capabilities which become the  foundation of how the members can move forward, meaning there is a solid ground on which to build a shared future.

Both aim to move people from hopelessness to hopefulness through better questions.

Every individual has a genius hidden inside them, and so does every organization.  By amplifying that utapped genius loudly, we can begin to recognize the genius,  embrace it, and envision how we’ll make it work.

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Books Mentioned In This Episode:

Appreciative Inquiry Across Contexts, Cultures and Generations with Linda Quarles – PS007

Episode Overview

Linda-Quarles, Appreciative Inquiry

Linda Quarles has a strong background in corporate america.  She has worked in Global organizations, including Microsoft, BAE systems in the areas of Organization design, strategic facilitation, organizational change management, vision casting and culture transformation.  Linda is the mother of two daughters; she has traveled extensively for personal and consulting work.

Linda and I first met about 18 months ago at BAE Systems in Arlington, VA, US where Linda was a key member of a talented team working on implementing the Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Agenda across the organization.  Our project was to design and facilitate a summit for 300+ employees.  Appreciative Inquiry was the framework selected to do this important work and to ensure it was a totally different different from any of the prior conferences and symposia this organization had used in the past.

Freedom to step outside of our comfort zones

In this episode, we talk about the impact of Appreciative Inquiry in a Government Contract Defense organization with many ex-military employees, many of whom were sceptical and concerned about breaking the mould.  You can read a summary of the highlights of this summit, Freedom to step out of our comfort zones,  which shone the light on the root causes of success where D&I was already working so well, and had gone unnoticed.

Appreciative Inquiry across contexts

There’s another beautiful story of the transformational results Linda witnessed when applying Appreciative Inquiry in a school in northern China that shifted the dynamic from reluctant to joyful participation, and on the last day singing and dancing.  The teachers  came up with a plan for moving the school forward that no-one outside that context could possibly have done.  Linda stresses the value of the one-on-one “Discovery” interview, framed in an appreciative way.

The value of positivity and negativity

  • “Your attitude determines your attitude”- possibly the secret of being content in all situations, as we only have control in the moment over our own outlook or attitude.
  • There are always challenges in life:  illness, conflicts, business difficulties and failures,  loneliness, and if we can use the lens of positivity, it does help.
  • Positivity is an attitude, an optimism, hopefulness, resilience that comes from the place:  I’m choosing to look at this in a specific way – I meet people, I learn something new, or something else comes along something better yet. To have that awareness in the moment is positivity.
  • There is a value in both low moments and high moments.  Low energy is to be valued as it can be the impetus for positive change.
  • Go see the video of Apollos Hester, young high school footballer, who shows what having a positive outlook looks like after a difficult game.  Unbelievable and inspirational!

Aspirations for our children

  • The concept of servant leader – putting others ahead of yourself – and the impact of our behaviors on others is never too early to learn.
  • Relationships may need extra work to keep children aware of others outside themselves, as it's a distracted world for children with so many things competing for attention.
  • The art of story telling  has such power for us to connect in addition to all the tweetable, soundbitable snippets we have come to accept as communication.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Be sure you listen to Linda’s beautiful story of visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi with her children.  It shows how children have that appreciative eye and the gift of being in the moment.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

 

Links Mentioned in this Episode

Let's Stay Connected

It's always great to hear from you. Please connect with me to ask questions or leave comments about this episode or the podcast in general, and there are several good ways to do this:

  • Share your questions and ideas on the Podcast Feedback page
  • Leave a voice message here, and we may feature your question on an upcoming episode
  • Leave a comment on the show notes below

Help Spread the Message of Positivity!

I would be extremely appreciative if you would subscribe, rate or review our Positivity Strategist podcast. Your ratings and comments will help a lot to spread the message! Here is a guide to writing a quick review, click on iTunes and Stitcher.

Listen to Stitcher

Subscribe-iTunes-180x120

Subscribe Via RSS

If this episode was helpful or enjoyable to you,

  • I invite you to share it using the social media buttons on the bottom of this page.
  • I'd love it if you can leave a quick review, on iTunes and Stitcher.

Joy in Pakistan, And Undertold Stories with Cathy Joseph – PS006

Episode Summary

Cathy JosephIn this episode, my special guest is my most wonderful friend and colleague, Cathy Joseph.  Cathy has much to share about her life with appreciative inquiry.  She has recently returned from an amazing project in Islambad, Pakistan.  Cathy shares the joy of her project in Pakistan and taunts us with the beginnings of undertold stories, and what has touched her about this work.

Cathy, is an independent consultant and trainer with a specialization in talent management and strength-based change.  

Appreciative Inquiry was Right

When Cathy first learned about Appreciative Inquiry at a professional conference, it felt right that this is how she wanted to work in corporations – bringing participatory methods allowing everyone to have a voice, to bring out the best in every one. Intuitively, this made sense.  It ran counter to the corporate culture she had been immersed in.

A High Point Story of Joy

Cathy has  many high point stories starting from doing her AI Certification at Case Western Reserve University to her most recent experience in Islamabad.  What was surprising for her among the group of trainees in Pakistan was how the dominant mindset was tied to traditional problem solving.  When they finally were able to apply the learnings and provide the AI interview experience to the kids in their pilot program at the Mashal Model School, they were astounded that the kids got it.  The children ranging from 9 to 16 embraced the interviews to share their joy of their past experiences and then to share dreams of the future.  They shared their imaginings of a peaceful world of service, verbally in Urdu and through their artwork.  Examples of their dreams of the future included:

  • Being teachers so they also could support their community and show care, just as they were experiencing from their teachers
  • Being a doctor who didn’t want to charge for services
  • Themes of togetherness, playing together, being together.  They were very inclusive in their thinking
  • One little girl drew a house with a window, because her dream was to be able to sit in a chair and see the sun through a window that she didn't yet have.

These transformational experiences for the trainees and the students were high point stories for Cathy.

What is Positivity to You?

Joy in Pakistan, And Undertold Stories with Cathy Joseph

  • A way of being, a mindset, philosophy,
  • Many parts that make up the whole
  • Fundamental knowing that things are good.  Even in moments of darkness – it is a moment.  At the end of the day, I'm going to be okay, all right.  It allows me to get through.
  • Barb Fredricksen's work on positivity –  we build up a reservoire of positivity over time which helps us

How to Deal with Negativity

Cathy’s had a lot of experience with negativity.  Negativity is a reality, just as positivity is a reality.  Learning that her perspective is also valid and she could presented it with a solid knowing was liberating for her.

  • It takes baby steps to shift the perspective from seeing only why things will not work to “yes, it’s a possibility that it may work.”
  • From a negative situation, she always has hope that something good will come out of it.  “It’s linked to positivity – as it’s my default mindset.  There are always these pieces of hope”.
  • The lens of hope and possibity can trump the fear and sense of loss.
  • The overwhelming feeling that comes from being with like-minded people who embrace the same mindset works always.
  • Focussing on something better.
  • Knowing that the languague around AI is a way to talk about, and, have credibility for her own thinking – a process and history that it works.  It’s not just being Pollyanna.

 Power of Corporations to Change the World

An advocate of CSR, a big aspirational conversation Cathy would like to be part of is that big corporations do have the power to change the world.  It is good business to do good in the world.  We need these change agents in corporations who can bring about positive change.   Appreciative Inquiry is a way to do this and help with collaborations across corporations, NGOs, governments working as change agents.

Links Mentioned in this Episode

Let's Stay Connected

It's always great to hear from you. Please connect with me to ask questions or leave comments about this episode or the podcast in general, and there are several good ways to do this:

  • Share your questions and ideas on the Podcast Feedback page
  • Leave a voice message here, and we may feature your question on an upcoming episode
  • Leave a comment on the show notes below

Help Spread the Message of Positivity!

I would be extremely appreciative if you would subscribe, rate or review our Positivity Strategist podcast. Your ratings and comments will help a lot to spread the message!

Listen to Stitcher

Subscribe-iTunes-180x120

Subscribe Via RSS

 If this episode was helpful or enjoyable to you,

  • I invite you to share it using the social media buttons on the bottom of this page.

Strength-based Business Education with Dr Lindsey Godwin – PS005

Episode Summary

My special guest is the brilliant Dr. Lindsey Godwin. Associate Professor Robert P. Stiller School of Business, Champlain College, Burlington, VT.

Lindsey is an exceptional human being with an amazing career that spans the globe.  Lindsey is not only a Professor in a business school, but she has close professional relationships with businesses locally and internationally.  Lindsey has sat the table with the Dalai Lama and has shared the stage with the Presidents of global corporations and the elected presidents and politicians of countries.  I’m not naming names.  Except to say Lindsey received her PhD in Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University, where she studied with the founding thought leaders in AI — David Cooperrider and Ron Fry.

A dream start to a career

Business EducationLindsey’s start in higher education in business was not necessarily by design.  She was a seeker – as a student of biology, psychology, sociology, she was called to find out more about organizational behavior.  She loved the people who were doing this work and followed her heart to the doctoral program at Case Western Reserve University.

It was a fortuitous time to be at Case, with the lauch of a new project Business as an Agent of World Benefit (BAWB)  which has since become a center. And she was also invited as a doctoral student among others to the first Appreciative Inquiry summit at the United Nations Global Compact, invited by Kofi Annan to establish partnerships between governments, corporations and NGOs to tackle global initiatives

Following the heart

Lindsey reflects that when you follow your calling, your heart, your passion, paths and opportunities open up that you wouldn’t believe to be possible because in the moment things may not make sense.

When Lindsey became aware of Appreciative Inquiry, she found a framework and set of principles that allowed her to work more to her strengths.

Highpoint story of an AI Summit

In Burlington VT, the ECHO center (Ecology, Culture, History, Opportunity)  convened an AI Summit that Lindsey co-designed and facilitated with the affirmative topic of “Blue Water in Green Mountains.” The Summit engaged multi stakeholders – educators, politicians, faith-based groups, national and international thought leaders who came together to roll up their sleeves with local citizens to engage around infrastructure, opportunities, partnerships with businesses and non-profits to ensure that in the next 10 – 30 there would be clean water in the lakes. The notion of “one drop” makes a difference has been an ongoing theme for the local community.

Positive Outcomes from the Summit

  • ECHO recognized its value as an ongoing convener, facilitator to open up space to create opportunities and initiatives around environmental issues allowing multiple constituents to come together.
  • The organization was most excited about the model of holding secondary summits focused on specific topics over the next 10 years.
  • The ongoing conversation is focused around how do we become more resilient as a community, creating resilient infrastructure, communities and actions.

Positive Examples of Collective Resiliency

Aftermath of Hurricane Irene brought to light many positive examples of collective resiliency.  There were positive examples of communities surviving and infrastructures doing well after the hurricane. What were these examples, and what were the factors that lead to some communities being more resilient than others?  The objective  of the inquiry is to lift those examples up and learn from them; expand them and replicate them so they can be beacons and can be expanded upon further.

The conversations will be enlarged and amplified. Resiliency has shifted from the individual to collective resiliency.  We need resilient organizations; we need a resilient planet.

Collaborative, participatory, dispersed leadership

We cannot tackle issue today without the whole system – any AI summit  ensures all voices are part of this.

Today we live in a world of radical transparency – access to information is at our fingertips.  We have expectations to have our voices heard and enlightened leaders, who lead with rather than lead over recognize the power of the shared leaderhsip model. An empowered work forces expects to be also an engaged workforce.

Customers of business or social sectors are all part of the conversations now.  This wonderful time in history with tools and technologies, there is the fundamental human desire to connect.

Meaning of  positivity

Positivity is not only about the positive, implying we can’t talk about certain things – it’s just the opposite!  Positivity is all about possibility. Linsdey referenced Gervase Busche's article, iAppreciative Inquiry is not (just) about the positive.

Positivity creates generativity and possibility.  From the science of neuro psychology, we are left wondering where do we start the conversation around positivity and how can we learn more about it.   It can start anywhere.

Positivity opens us up to tackle the thorny issues and opens us to the energy to address matters from this generative, possibility-focused perspective.  We can now to look at the root causes of success.

Big aspirational conversation

How do we do this appreciative work at all levels?  Reference to the new book currently in the works by Lindsey and David Cooperrider that expands on the impact and influence and possibility of the intersection of the strengths revolution.

  1. How do we lift up strengths at all levels in society?
  2. How do we align the strengths?
  3. How to we use them to create organizations  that are refractions and reflections of our best selves?

Links Mentioned in this Episode

I'd love to hear from you!

Please connect with me to ask questions or leave comments about this episode or the podcast in general, and there are several good ways to do this:

  • Share your questions and ideas on the Podcast Feedback page
  • Leave a voice message here, and we may feature your question on an upcoming episode
  • Leave a comment on the show notes below

Help Spread the Message of Positivity!

I would be extremely appreciative if you would subscribe, rate or review our Positivity Strategist podcast. Your ratings and comments will help a lot to spread the message!

Listen to Stitcher

Subscribe-iTunes-180x120

Subscribe Via RSS

 If this episode was helpful or enjoyable to you,

  • I invite you to share it using the social media buttons on the bottom of this page.

The Power of Positive Questions

JC.6The power of positive questions was the topic of my interview on the Greatness Zone with host, Jay Forte.  Jay's work is to provide talent and strength-based tools to help people live extraordinary lives, so we had a good affinity.

Jay had seen my TEDxNavesink talk, Playful Inquiry – Try this Anywhere  and simply loved my opening question:  “What's the best thing that's happened to you today.”

Together, we explored the impact of asking questions that empowered both the inquirer and the inquiree.  There is reciprocal value in entering into a conversation from a place of inquiry rather than being merely an information giver or seeker.

You can listen to our generative conversation or download it from iTunes.  

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Change the Narrative for Culture Change

Culture Change is not a revolving doorThe CEO of a multimillion dollar company was in the office building elevator one day going down to lunch from his executive suite on level 77. Several floors down three employees stepped into the same elevator all very engaged in a conversation. They paid no attention to him – the CEO – standing in the elevator.

As the elevator door closed with its three new occupants, he quickly became aware, their conversation was a series of complaints and grievances about the company of which he was CEO and founder.

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Highlights from an Appreciative Inquiry Summit

Sharing stories at an Appreciative Inquiry Summit

“Joy and pride grow from knowing you have just done something as well as you can do it”  ~ Lloyd Dobens

I know that feeling.  I have witnessed it in others.

Recently I completed an extremely satisfying 6 month project.  The project was to lead the design and facilitation of an Appreciative Inquiry Summit for the Chief Diversity Officer of a very large global organization.  The Summit, with over 300 people, was an appreciative inquiry into the affirmative topic, “Freedom to step outside our comfort zones”. There was much joy and pride in knowing we had all done something as well as we could do it. 

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