The Value of Appreciative Inquiry ~ A Way to Frame That Doesn’t Throw Us Into a Downward “Problem Solving” Spiral

Here are two quotes from Albert Einstein ~

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. We must learn to see the world anew.”

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

So, when we think about wanting things to be better we often fall into a ‘problem solving’ mode.  It seems so logical, productive and functional to go into that mode.   Like if we see the problem as: not enough people “get it” – that technology is the future and education is to provide young people with opportunities to thrive in the future.

Yet, we focus on the problem we limit our ‘consciousness’ in part by what created the ‘problem’.   We tend to our frame our thinking by following the predictable steps of: problem identification, uncovering root causes, brainstorm solutions and develop an action plan to solve the problem.  That all sounds good and efficient. Yet, this process does not push us to seeing the big picture anew because from this frame we are focused on the problem that needs to be solved.

Appreciative Inquiry is another way to look at things that are in-front of us.  Rather than jumping right into the problem solving behaviors we do have alternatives.  Alternatives that will likely increase our consciousness and our sense of appreciation for the wonder around us – as we move trough change to better outcomes.

So here is how you might approach a ‘problem’ or situation from an Appreciative Inquiry perspective.  First, appreciate the “Best of what is about the situation.”  Second, imagine “What might be related to the situation.”  Next, design “What should be.   And finally, create “What will be.”  Appreciative Inquiry is strength-based change.   It involves: appreciating, envisioning, co-constructing and sustaining.  It is action oriented after dreaming about possibilities.  So, these dreams guide and inspire action.

I really value Appreciative Inquiry.  I see is as the kind of ‘frame’ I want to work from.  I find it empowering and positive.

You can learn more by reading any books in this bibliography. And by checking out this website – not because it is the best, it is just one many, websites.  Enjoy your journey.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. The Throws Academy | 7Wins.eu linked to this post.

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