Saturday, August 16, 2008
Appreciative Inquiry Handbook by David L. Cooperrider, Diana L. Whitney, Jacqueline M. Stavros - Book review
The Appreciative Inquiry Handbook
For Leaders of Change 2nd Edition
By: David L. Cooperrider, Diana L. Whitney, Jacqueline M. Stavros
Published: Jan 1, 2008
Format: Paperback, 430pp
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Pub
Every organization has something that works right - things that give it life when it is most alive, effective, successful, and connected in healthy ways to the stakeholders and communities, write David L. Cooperrider, Diana L. Whitney, and Jacqueline M. Stavros in their completely revised definitive textbook on embracing organizational change The Appreciative Inquiry Handbook For Leaders of Change. The book starts a conversation within an organization about what is positive and working well, and teaches how to ask the right questions to expand those connections across the entire organization.
David Cooperrider (photo left), Diana Whitney (photo below left), and Jacqueline Stavros )photo bottom left) recognize that all organizations have things they do well. Their techniques, outlined so well in the book, provide the means to share these positive events and features across the entire company. While most approaches to organizational improvement focus on problem solving through identifying the weaknesses and finding solutions, Appreciative Inquiry (AI) works from the opposite direction. Instead of highlighting problems, AI places the emphasis on what is working well and how to expand that vision across the organization.
David Cooperrider, Diana Whitney (photo left), and Jacqueline Stavros seek to transform partially functioning organizations into a fully realized vision that benefits all stakeholders and the communities served by the company. The authors realize that AI must be applied properly to prevent its misuse as a rationalization for maintaining the status quo. Instead, the properly functions, and positive relationships can be applied as an already existing solution
David Cooperrider, Diana Whitney, and Jacqueline Stavros (photo left) understand that an initial inquiry process will take time and that temporal allowances must be made for plan development and modification. AI is not a quick fix that can be applied without flexibility and patience. The discovery process will take time, and interviews and group discussions must be thorough and bring out previously overlooked positives features of the organization.
For me, the power of the book is its complete step by step process for discovering the existing strengths of an organization. The authors provide the practical techniques for propagating those positive features to other work groups. Another power of the book is its usability for anyone at any level of experience with the AI process, whether a novice or a long time practitioner. The case studies, that help to visualize some of the more complex concepts, are extremely valuable for the reader. They help fill in the spaces with real life examples of how AI has been used successfully by other companies in many different fields.
I highly recommend The Appreciative Inquiry Handbook For Leaders of Change by David L. Cooperrider, Diana L. Whitney, and Jacqueline M. Stavros, to anyone serious about positive change and transformation of their organization. Regardless of the size of the business or organization, the Appreciative Inquiry system will help identify the strengths of the group and provide the methods of applying those positives to the overall whole.
Read The Appreciative Inquiry Handbook For Leaders of Change by David L. Cooperrider, Diana L. Whitney, and Jacqueline M. Stavros, and transform your organization into a functional and positive force for change whether locally or on global scale.
Labels: book reviews
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