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Appreciative Inquiry is a strengths based approach to planning and organisational development. It is able to engage large groups to co-design and commit to their future direction.


Our practice has been informed by Appreciative Inquiry for over 14 years.


Building on action learning and action research principles, and further developed by David Cooperrider of Case Western Reserve University, Appreciative Inquiry recognises that the questions we ask influence the outcomes we achieve.


Ap-pre’ci-ate, v., 1. Valuing; the act of recognizing the best in people or the world around us; affirming past and present strengths, successes, and potentials; to perceive those things that give life to living systems. 2. To increase in value


In-quire’, v., 1. The act of exploration and discovery. 2. To ask questions; to be open to seeing new potentials and possibilities.


AI (Appreciative Inquiry) recognises that all individuals, organisations and communities have experienced periods of great performances, achievements and success.


These inspiring experiences and 'aha' moments are often forgotten. It is the intentional remembering of these experiences and the rigourous examination of the actions, attitudes, and feelings that were present during “these aha moments” that is at the heart of AI. This process builds relationships and enables new knowledge, understanding and actions that we can embed into our planning and our future.  Focussing on what works, harnesses the energy, enthusiasm and commitment required for long term sustainable change.


The Power of Appreciative Inquiry defines AI as "the study and exploration of what gives life to human systems, at their best" (Whitney and Trosten-Bloom, 2003).


Eileen Heywood was privileged to present a paper on Appreciative Mentoring at the Second International Conference on Appreciative Inquiry in Miami in 2004.

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