Home Organizational Psychology Leadership Organizational Consultation XXX: Leadership and the Appreciative Perspective

Organizational Consultation XXX: Leadership and the Appreciative Perspective

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Culture of Intentions

The domain of intentions is particularly important in some organizations with which I have consulted. I find that these organizations readily embrace my recommendations regarding the use of appreciative strategies that reside at the top of the Appreciative Triangle: chartering, benchmarking and development. These organizations are upward focused because of this emphasis on strategies at the top of the Triangle. The energies of these organizations are focused upward, metaphorically and topographically, with regard to the Appreciative Triangle. The leaders of these organizations thrive when attention turns to discussions about organizational charter and to an exploration of the mission, vision, values and purposes that form a foundation for this charter.

The intention-rich culture is characterized by settings in which members of the organization focus on relationships rather than methods (as in the case with information-rich organizations). Members of upward focused organizations are sensitive to and fully appreciative of diversity in the experiences, ideas, values and aspirations that exist among organizational members. Differences among members with regard to gender, race, ethnicity, nationality and disabilities are viewed as strengths and valuable resources. Successful participants in this culture tend to be aware and supportive of the traditions and history of their group and organization. They frequently honor the contributions of past and current members. They enjoy celebrating the distinctive features and accomplishments of their group and organization.

The intentions-rich culture tends to be particularly supportive of employees who are skillful in providing personal assistance to other members of the group when requested. Furthermore, competent members of this culture provide assistance in a manner that is responsive to the other person’s needs and that respects the other person’s autonomy and sense of self-worth. Personal risk-taking and interpersonal learning among all group members is encouraged in this culture. Inspiring leaders thrive in this organizational culture. These leaders focus on values and the vision, purposes and personal aspirations that are derived from these values. The inspiring leader in this culture will find enthusiastic support for her concerns about the welfare of employees and the building of community and commitment.

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