Liberal or Formal Appreciative Inquiry?

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Appreciative Inquiry > Best Practices > Liberal or Formal Appreciative Inquiry?

Liberal or Formal Appreciative Inquiry?
Fred Schoon, Consultant, Netherlands, Member
Great discussions all! Here is a question for you: do you use AI typically in its strict format with protocols etc., or more often in a let's say more liberal or loose format?

5D Framework and Philosophy
David J. MacCoy, Management Consultant, Canada, Member
In my work with AI over the past 10 years, I have found it most effective when the 5D framework is used. It provides the step-by-step guidance that makes the method understandable.
However, it is the philosophy or principles that have shaped the mindset that made the initiatives valuable. Learning to use appreciative questions has been essential in facilitating dialogue and re-frame an understanding of situations in large and small groups as well as individual interaction.

Liberal or Formal Appreciative Inquiry
Zeb O. WATURUOCHA, Management Consultant, India, Member
I also follow the same system as David. In formal settings the 5-D process is strictly used and in loose settings, the philosophy or principles are very useful.

AI Formal or Loose
Fred Schoon, Consultant, Netherlands, Member
David and Zeb, much appreciated your insights. Thanks.

Liberal and Formal Appreciative Inquiry
JC de Jong, Director, Netherlands, SIG Leader
I've been using AI for over 17 years now and started out quite rigidly using the D's. And I still do from time to time, but in the conversations with David Cooperrider, Jane Watkins and others I've come to realize that the D's are just a tool to support the process.
At the core of AI as a philosophy we find the principles and the appreciative questions. When you start with those you may find even more depth in the results that you see.
So my experience over the years is that I've come to loosely apply the D's and let it depend on how a group is best served when it comes to 'strict' or 'liberal'.
In the best of the AI traditions I would suggest to look at this as a 'both and' rather then an 'either or' question.

The Principles Underlying AI
TOLLEC BERNARD, Consultant, France, Member
I totally agree with Joep. I would add that really understanding the underlying principles of AI is key in order to reinvent other ways than only the 5D process. The most important point to me has been to understand why it works then just deploying the 5D framework. If this framework is usefull, it is far from being the only way to deploy AI in an organization. AI is still a new perspective and let's continue building on what David, Jane and all others pioneers have started to do. Let's be AI instead of doing AI and we will be able to answer this question all the time!

Putting your Attention Where it Matters
Kate Lindley Scheidegger, Consultant, Switzerland, Member
I do change the format. I sometimes use the AI discovery questions in the pair interview format within a future search format.
Most people in organizations hardly have the time to ever connect and dialogue in a meaningful way with one other person. It also allows for a different activity.
Look at this great article Evaluating Appreciative Inquiry by Dian-Marie Hosking.
Totally agree that it is the principles that matter, not the "technique".
But Fred, what do you mean by a liberal and loose format?

Special Interest Group Leader
JC de Jong

Appreciative Inquiry
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