Questioning Our Assumptions

Appreciative Consultation - 4 Principles

The 4-D Model

Lessons Learnt

Appreciative Model in Use


Providing an Overview of Appreciative Consultation

by Liz Mellish

This is a collection of key points relating to Appreciative Inquiry for use in a short briefing

Questioning Our Assumptions
4-D Model Of Appreciative Consultation
Lessons Learnt
Sample Activity: Model In Use


Need to integrate, bring together, interpret clients' needs; and design processes which reflect:

Intellectual Competence ( Knowing clients' business and providing suitable frameworks to deal with the issues)

Logical Competence (Offering project management and organisational competence to systematically pursue change agenda at hand)

Processual Competence (Facilitating client group towards decisions about practical approaches and moving ahead)

Organisations In Transition: Action at the interface

Questioning Our Assumptions

Organisation as a problem to be solved

Organisation as a mystery
How we choose to define power and possibility is infinitely reframable
Organisational effort often follows the 'line of inquiry'
'Organisation' is a social system defined by the way participants think, feel and perform together


Imagination, Inquiry, Dynamics of Hope, Motivation, Energy and Language Define What's PossibleTop of Page

Appreciative Consultation - 4 Principles

Appreciate - Yourself And Other People

Apply - Your Knowledge Of What Works/Is Possible

Provoke - Your Imagination: What's Ideal

Collaborate - Share, Affirm And Co-Ordinate

4-D Model: Discover, Dream, Design, Deliver Affirmative Topic Choice

Lessons Learnt
1. Meaningful Integration, Inclusive Way Of Tying Things Together and Moving On...
2. Produces Compelling Views Of Future
3. Generates 'Goodwill', Energy
4. Unearths Stories Based On Deep Values And Things That People Care About
5. Provides Solid Basis For Strategy
6. Re-Energises Strategic Planning Process
7. Facilitation Is Critical: Links Between Phases
8. Very Easy To 'Grow Your Own'
9. Commitment Builds Through The Process
10. Flexible Applications:
Focus Groups
Program Reviews
Team Development (Cross Functional/Self Managing Etc)

The Appreciative Model in UseTop of Page

Step 1 Organisational balancing act


Step 2 Emergent forms of organisation


Step 3 Appreciative consultation

Concluding Remarks

Appreciative consultation is a philosophy.

As a matter of course, the consultant's line of inquiry becomes positive (what has worked in the past? what is working now? what would and could work in the future? How can we make best use of the talent and resources available? What are our success stories? When have we been most proud? etc).

With respect to facilitative expertise, the consultant consciously guides the group to explore what's best? what's possible, how we can make it happen?

Groups derive a sense of good will and energy from the approach which empowers them to do the best with what they've got. Executives begin to appreciate the contribution their people can make, managers can get on with what they do best, co-ordinating the efforts of others and staff get a stake in the future.

Appreciative consultation presents as a process which has the capacity to build collaborative and affirmative competencies within and between organisations. It is exactly these collaborative and affirmative competencies that will facilitate the personal and organisational transitions currently required to sustain people and organisations in the next millennium.

Finally, appreciative consultation provides the HR consultant with an opportunity to demonstrate their key competencies: business knowledge, HR state of the art, change and processTop of Page competence, and credibility (Ulrich, 1996).