Nailing Down The Art of Appreciative Inquiry

Discover, Dream, Design and Destiny

The process of “appreciative inquiry” gives your company a boost by leveraging what you already do well.

  • Discover the “best of what is”—they identified where the company’s processes worked perfectly.
  • Dream “what might be” —they envisioned processes that would work perfectly all the time.
  • Design “what should be”—they defined and prioritized the elements of perfect processes.
  • Create a Destiny based on “what will be”—they participated in the creation of the design.

Source: The Art of Appreciative Inquiry

Message: Focus and build on what works.

Result: What you focus on grows.

Appreciative Inquiry is commonly applied to organizational & community development, but it can also be applied to individual growth and development–as well as those ‘one man shows’ a lot of us are building online.

“When you focus on what works and you dream of the possibilities, it’s very inspiring to people,” says GMCR’s Stiller. “It was very neat for me to see the energy it created.”

What kind of energy are you creating for yourself and your online business? I realize that can sound a bit “Voodoo Babble”, but think about it this way:

When we look at what we’re “doing right” and “what’s working for us” and “what’s producing results”, we get motivated–and that builds momentum (energy). And every movement forward is a step closer to our goal which then feeds on itself and produces more motivation and more momentum. So => What you’re focusing on is growing or building.

Sometimes though we get stuck on looking at “what’s not right” or “what I can’t do” or “what I don’t have” or “what’s not working”. And when we focus on that–that’s the kind of energy that’s growing and soon we find ourselves stuck or dissatisfied or lost or hands in the air discouraged. And we haven’t moved a single step closer to the goal–which then feeds on itself and produces more discouragement. So => What you’re focusing on is growing or building.

Got it? ;).

In Organizational development (OD), Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a process for engaging people across the system in renewal, change and focused performance.

Source: Appreciative Inquiry – Wikipedia

Discover: Write down all the things that are working for you online. What are the things you are doing right? What actions are producing the results that you want? What are you happy with and find fulfilling?

Dream: What would you like to achieve online? Give yourself permission to get Darn Good & Crazy!

Design: Define each step it will take to make your Dream reality. Prioritize them.

Create Destiny: For each of the steps you outlined above, implement them. Act on them. Execute them. Outsource or hire help if you have to.

Oversimplified? You tell me. Ultimately it all comes down to individual choice and action. You choose what to focus on and you choose the actions you’re making. The results you produce are directly related to your focus and actions.

Nice way to start the week I think ;).

More Reading:

Locating the Energy for Change: An Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry (pdf file)


I've been trying to find my way online for more years than I care to admit.