Organizational Consultation XV Appreciative Consulting Within the Domain of Intentions
- Chosen freely. If something is to guide the life of an organization, then it must be a result of free choice. If there is coercion, the result is not likely to endure. Intentions must be freely selected if they are to be embraced by an individual or organization
- Chosen from among alternatives. Intentions are concerned with choices made by an individual or organization; obviously, there can be no choice if there are no alternatives from which to choose. We say that we have identified an intention only when a choice is possible
- Chosen after consideration of the consequences of each alternative. Impulsive or thoughtless choices do not lead to enduring personal or organizational intentions. Only when the consequences of each alternative are clearly understood can one make intelligent choices
- Prized and cherished. When we appreciate something, it has a positive tone. We prize it, cherish it, esteem it, respect it, and hold it dear. We are joyful about and proud of our intentions.\
- Affirmed. When we have chosen something freely, after consideration of the alternatives, and when we are proud of our choice, glad to be associated with it, we are likely to affirm that choice when asked about it. We are willing to publicly affirm our intentions. We may even be willing to champion them.
- Acted upon. Where we have a clearly formulated intention, it shows up in aspects of our living, both individually and collectively. For an intention to be present, life in an organization must be affected. Nothing can be an intention that does not, in practice, give direction to actual organizational behavior. Intentions are always something more than rhetoric.
- Repeated. Where something reaches the stage of a formal intention, it is very likely to reappear on a number of occasions in the life of the person or organization holding it. It shows up in several different situations, at several different times. Intentions tend to have a persistency. They tend to make a pattern and repeatedly tend to attract attention, energy and commitment.
In summary, choosing, prizing and acting characterize an intention that is fully engaged. An intention that is fully engaged has been freely chosen from among alternatives after thoughtful consideration; an intention is prized and affirmed; an intention is repeatedly acted on.