Organizational Consultation: An Appreciative Approach–VI. Selecting Among Consultation Models
Appreciative inquiry has truly arrived. This term and the underlying concepts and attitudes associated with this term are flourishing in the fields of organizational development and organizational consultation. The term appreciative inquiry has even been abbreviated. Organizational consultants who are in the know now simply call it AI. This seems to be a sign that this organizational change strategy is now fully admitted to the club.
There is an important difference, however, between AI and many of the other concepts of leadership and management that have passed like a forgettable breeze across the organizational landscape. AI has real substance. It offers great promise as a vehicle for shifting attitudes and as a way of informing and transforming organizational processes. There is much to appreciate in the progress made to date in the field of appreciative inquiry. Yet, more must be done if the full potential of AI is to be realized. This book is intended as one effort to expand the range of and deepen our understanding about the processes of appreciative inquiry.
Specifically, the second set of essays in this series concerns those organizational structures that hold the potential of supporting the attitudes and processes of appreciative inquiry. This is the next step in AI. We must identify the structural strategies of AI that will enhance powerful processes such as the four “D’s (discovery, dream, design and destiny) and the formulation of provocative propositions. These structural strategies also help to actualize the potential found in such AI attitudes as the valuing of alternative perspectives, acknowledging contributions and recognizing the value of cooperation.