The following articles are currently available for download:
Problem-solving was never this easy: transformational change through Appreciative Inquiry
Paper presented by Marvin Faure at the European Academy of Management conference in Oslo, May 17-19 2006 (EURAM 2006).
The use of management methods based on so-called positive approaches
is growing apace in the United States and beginning to make inroads in
Europe, buoyed by an ever-increasing body of research both underlining
their effectiveness and providing their theoretical base. Appreciative
Inquiry (AI) is one of the most frequently used among these new approaches,
and has often been reported as successful in generating "transformational"
change: i.e. a change that leaves the organisation demonstrably different.
Since the ability to effect periodic transformational change is vital
to the survival of any organisation, the claims made for the greater efficacy
of AI compared to traditional methods should be evaluated and the methodology
understood so that it may be used to best effect. This paper has been
written from a practitioner's point of view and it is intended to demonstrate
what made the use of AI successful in generating transformational change
in a number of cases, while providing some practical guidance that may
be of use to organisations wishing to effect similar transformational
changes in the future.
Keywords: Appreciative Inquiry, transformational change, innovation,
The paper contains an extensive bibliography.
Interactive communication with large groups
Practically all companies hold regular "all-hands" meetings where a
large group of employees are brought together, usually to communicate
corporate information such as results, strategies, directions, products,
appointments or organisation changes.
Such presentations are usually made by senior managers - who are not
always personally known to the participants - and often include large
numbers of PowerPoint slides.
The hope is that the assembled employees will leave with not only a
full understanding of whatever was communicated but will also be motivated
to take appropriate action.
Unfortunately the reality is all too often rather different, due to
the over-use of PowerPoint and one-way communication, and the fact that
the necessarily general nature of the information presented makes it hard
for the individuals in the audience to grasp its relevance to their daily
Effective communication must be a two-way process, engaging the audience
in thinking about and working with the information. In the words of Confucius:
"Tell me, and I will forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve
me, and I will understand."
The process described in this paper provides a simple way to involve the audience effectively and quickly with large groups (of up to several hundred persons).