May 30, 2024

Appreciative Inquiry is a methodology that focuses on the positive, identifying what is working well, analyzing why it is working well, and building on these good stories.

The basic tenet of Appreciative Inquiry is “An organization will grow in whichever direction that people in the organization focus their attention.”

It is developed by David Cooperrider (1980)

Characteristics of Appreciative Inquiry


  • Looking for the positive core of the organization and seeking to build this foundation for future growth


  • New ideas need to be grounded in ‘what has worked in the past, Seeking ‘what is the best.’


  • Appreciative Inquiry involves inviting people to take some risks in the way they imagine the future and helps bring the future about.


  • Involving as many people in the organization as possible or a representative cross-section of the organization is essential

Three Key Elements of Appreciative Inquiry

Element One

  • Identifying ‘the positive core’
  • Begin by focusing on the positives, not the problems
  • This means, examples of excellencies; understanding what enables and sustains the organization
  • Realizing the possibilities of success

Element Two

  • Working through the 5-D
Appreciative Inquiry through 5 D

Element Three

  • Creating a Kick-off point
  • Meeting, a feedback session in which everyone is brought together to clarify what the next steps are

Strategies of Appreciative Leadership

  • To know they belong
  • To feel value for what they have to contribute
  • To know where the organization or community is headed
  • To know that excellence is expected and can be dependent on, and they contribute to the greater good

Methods (5-I)


  • Let the people know that “We value them and their thinking”.
  • We ask people to share their thoughts, and ideas for the future and listen carefully


  • Helps people understand how they can best contribute
  • Helps people to learn about their strengths and the strengths of others:- Gives the confidence to express and express themselves


  • Gives people a sense of belonging’
  • People feel they are part of it as we open the door for collaboration and cooperation


  • Gives people ‘ a sense of direction
  • Gives people hope and unleashes energy


  • Let people know they are expected to give their best for the great good and that they can trust others to do the same

See also: Conflict Management

See also: Participative Management

See also: Collective Bargaining