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Traditional approaches to problem-solving basically focus on what is wrong in a given situation and proceed to “fix” it with all the analytical tools available. We have seen that such approaches can never take us beyond the confines of the dark past. For achieving quantum breakthroughs, we need clear, bright images of the future. We need to create a field of infinite possibilities. Appreciative inquiry is about tapping into the river of positive possibilities, a way of harnessing the untapped creative energies of people and organizations.
This chapter explores role of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) in holistic leadership. Appreciative inquiry is about discovering and nurturing the best in people and organizations by focusing on the possibilities and potential. It is based on the premise that ‘human systems grow and change in the direction in which they ask questions’. If an organization inquires into problems, it will keep finding problems; if an organization seeks to appreciate what is best in itself and its people, it will discover more and more that is good. It can then use these discoveries to envision and create a new future where the best naturally becomes the norm.
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