What is Appreciative Inquiry (AI)?

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a collaborative approach to change that unleashes the existing strengths of an organization as the basis for inspired vision, energetic action, and sustained growth.

Appreciation means “recognizing the best in people or the world around us” or “affirming past and present strengths, successes, and potentials”.  Inquiry involves asking questions to reveal new possibilities.  Used together, appreciation and inquiry harness the power of collective strengths to transform organizations and align people toward positive futures.[1]

Since its development by David Cooperrider and Suresh Srivastva in the mid-1980s, AI has proven effective in thousands of organizations around the world, from John Deere and British Airways to NASA and the United Nations. Its collaborative methods of learning and authentic leadership encourage team members to share ideas and grow together.  Once learned, the simple processes of AI can be used at any level of an organization – to transform projects, teams, or an entire enterprise.


[1] from Appreciative Inquiry Commons