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Jesse Jacoby

In his book, Seeing What Others Don’t, Gary Klein retells the story of a seminar attendee. It illustrates perfectly the contrast between what managers should and should not do if they want to be fully engaged with their employees.
The person in question said that when she went into her boss’ office, he was focused on his computer screen; but as soon as he saw that she had come in, he stopped what he was doing …

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Home » Change Leadership

Using Appreciative Visioning to Enable Transformative Change

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The technique of appreciative inquiry (AI) can play an important role in the overall change management strategy. AI challenges the status quo by working from a strength-based foundation. If you accept the following principles, AI may be a technique for change of interest to you:

  • What you focus your energy on increases
  • Every individual, team and organization has positive qualities to be discovered
  • People are receptive to being asked to share positive aspects of themselves through the process of telling stories
  • Focusing on the positive and working from strengths is more engaging to people than telling them they are a problem that needs to be fixed
  • Through telling our stories we can enhance the social systems we engage in daily and positively impact processes including communication, conflict resolution, decision-making, performance appraisals, and team interaction

Recently, I interviewed Dr. Hadley Williams, Managing Director at Human Productivity, about his experience using AI to empower the change management process. He cites a recent engagement with a large non-profit where they used AI to help the organization develop a new vision and chart a new direction for it future (a method he calls “Appreciative Visioning”).

Linking it to his previous work in the area of action research, Dr. Williams explains how focusing on what is not going to change during a transformation has the potential to radically reduce change resistance. Click the video below to hear the interview.

Click here to download slides with a summary of the appreciative inquiry approach along with contact information for Dr. Hadley Williams. If you would like to learn more about the nuts and bolts of AI, you may want to also check out the Appreciative Inquiry Commons project sponsored by Case Western Reserve University.

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Jesse Jacoby
The Editor of Emergent Journal and founder of Emergent, Jesse is a recognized expert in business transformation. He and his team partner with Fortune 500 and mid-market companies to deliver successful people and change strategies. Jesse is the creator of the Accelerating Change & Transformation (ACT) model and developer of Change Accelerator and Savvy Transition. Contact Jesse at 303-883-5941 or jesse@emergentconsultants.com.

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