Appreciative Inquiry (AI)
APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY (“AI”) — To appreciate means to value, to understand those things worth valuing. To inquire means to study, to ask questions, to search. AI is, therefore, a collaborative search to identify and understand an organization’s or a region’s strengths, the greatest opportunities, and people’s aspirations and hopes for the future.
The Appreciative Inquiry Summit
The WHOLE SYSTEM participates — a cross-section of stakeholders in academia, business, civil society, and government—people and groups that care about and have a stake in Cleveland’s economy and future. This means more diversity and less hierarchy than is usual in a working meeting, and a chance for each person and stakeholder group to be heard and to learn other ways of looking at the task at hand.
TASK FOCUSED — a summit is task-focused, not simply an educational event or a conference. We are here to leverage all the strengths and talents that exist within our community in order to build our vision and plan of action for accomplishing our summit task — to build an economic engine to empower a green city on a blue lake.
Future scenarios are put into HISTORICAL and GLOBAL perspective. That means thinking globally together before acting locally. This enhances shared understanding and greater commitment to act. It also increases the range of potential actions.People SELF-MANAGE their work, and use DIALOGUE and INQUIRY—not “problem-solving”—as the main tool. That means helping each other do the tasks and taking responsibility for our perceptions and actions.
COMMON GROUND rather than “conflict management” is the frame of reference. That means honoring our differences and then discovering areas for action where we have strong common ground.
COMMITMENT TO ACTION — Because the “whole system” is involved, it is easier to make rapid decisions, and to make commitments to action in an open way that everyone can support.