Appreciative Inquiry is Just Another Tool in the Toolkit
Gary Wong, Consultant, Canada
Here are a couple of circumstances when you should not use AI
1. When you as the facilitator must not contaminate the data
. Because we move in the direction we inquire, by asking for positive stories we influence the conversations. As an AI practitioner we must be on guard that because we are good at using a hammer, we see everything as a nail. If not careful, our AI expertise can become a cognitive bias.
2. When we want to learn from failures
. There are arguments that we actually learn more from our failings than our successes.
I now am realizing that Appreciative Inquiry is a subset of Narrative Inquiry. In NI, we act as story prompters and are willing to gather both positive and negative stories. We should be empowering the storytellers to move in the direction they, not us, wish to go. If the morale is low and all you hear are negative stories, then prompt for positive success stories. On the other hand, if it's all about feeling good, I'll ask for stories of failure.