Appreciative Inquiry (AI)

Appreciative Inquiry is a philosophy and a methodology for positive change. It is founded on the simple assumption that human systems – teams, organizations and people – move in the direction of what they study, what they focus upon and what they talk about with regularity.

The process generally follows the Appreciative Inquiry 4-D Process: Discovery, Dream, Design and Destiny (Figure below).

At WillowOak Center for Positive Change, our process incorporates Appreciative Inquiry as a foundation for consulting, training and building employee capacity to lead people to enduring results. We typically follow the following process:

  1. Conduct a discovery interview with leadership and get really clear about the impact and results you seek.
  2. Engage various teams, individuals at a cross section of your company in “differently focused” conversations that uncover core success factors, strengths, and connecting points between effective operations and your customers’ value.
  3. We provide training, coaching, performance management systems enhancements and other means of integration and concrete applications of appreciative inquiry and other strength-based practices focused on a clear mission and clarified purpose for each employee.
  4. We assess deliverables to busines results and help you to further integrate positively impactful experiences into your way of doing business within your company and with your external stakeholders to further your company’s growth.



Adapted from The Power of Appreciative Inquiry, 2nd Edition Diana Whitney and Amanda Trosten-Bloom

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