Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Leadership at Every Level: Appreciative Inquiry in Education

by Rich Henry, John Hopkins School of Education

"Appreciative Inquiry is an approach … based on strengths rather than weaknesses, on a vision of what is possible rather than an analysis of what is not." --David Cooperrider

What we focus on increases.

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is based on the realization that improvement is more engaging, more fun, and more effective when the focus is on what is already working rather than what is broken. This AI principle is inherent in the best of human relationships, and most of us have had an experience of an appreciative moment that has changed our lives in ways both little and large.

Take a moment right now and remember a time when someone really believed in you and saw your strengths. It could have been a teacher, a family member, or friend who recognized your unique gifts. How did their faith and expectations affect you and your growth? As you notice how you feel as a result of remembering this important part of your personal story, you access a dynamic state that emboldens change. The process of accessing this state, "locating the energy for change," is what Appreciative Inquiry is about.  Read more . . .