Organizational Consultation XXX: Leadership and the Appreciative Perspective

Organizational Consultation XXX: Leadership and the Appreciative Perspective

We have now completed our journey around the Appreciative Triangle. We have ventured into the domains of information, intentions and ideas, and have delved into three appreciative strategies that relate to each of these domains: assessment (information), chartering (intentions) and empowerment (ideas). We have explored three strategies along the way that bridge these three domains: benchmarking (information and intentions), development (intentions and ideas) and feedback (ideas and information). One key ingredient is missing—leadership.

Leadership, The Appreciative Triangle and Organizational Culture

The time has come in this final chapter to directly address the issue of appreciative leadership. Specifically, the time has come to focus on an important proposition: if a leader is appreciative in her own engagement with other members of the organization, then the task of implementing appreciative strategies is much less formidable. In examining this proposition, I turn first to an obvious question. How should a leader engage the six appreciative strategies that are described in this series of essays?

The Appreciative Triangle

There is no obvious starting point when engaging the triangle, nor is any one of the six strategies more important than the other five strategies. However, leaders of some organizations tend to dwell in one or two of the domains and lean heavily on one or two strategies. There are many reasons for making primary use of a specific strategy or for focusing specifically on the domain of information, intentions or ideas. Leaders of an organization that is in the business of mass production, for instance, will be inclined to dwell in the domains of information and ideas. They want to know what is happening in their production facility. They are consistently searching for new ideas to reduce production costs or increase sales.

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About the Author

William BergquistWilliam Bergquist, Ph.D. An international coach and consultant in the fields of psychology, management and public administration, author of more than 50 books, and president of a psychology institute. Dr. Bergquist consults on and writes about personal, group, organizational and societal transitions and transformations. His published work ranges from the personal transitions of men and women in their 50s and the struggles of men and women in recovering from strokes to the experiences of freedom among the men and women of Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In recent years, Bergquist has focused on the processes of organizational coaching. He is coauthor with Agnes Mura of coachbook, co-founder of the International Journal of Coaching in Organizations and co-founder of the International Consortium for Coaching in Organizations.

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