Future of Organizations - The Appreciative Inquiry Commons

Images of the Future of
Organizations in a Pluralistic
Lessons From Appreciative Inquiry into the
Human Dimensions of Global Change
David L. Cooperrider
Department of Organizational Behavior
Case Western Reserve University
1999 Academy of Managent
Our Pluralistic World &
The Birthing of a “Spiritual United Nations”
• A call from the UN: the UN 50th
• A Bishop’s vision
• Hans Kung… “there will be no peace
among nations until there is peace among
religions, no peace among religions until…”
• Huntington’s thesis…clash of civilizations
• Can we make a contribution?
The Development of the Charter for a
United Religions Organization
Relations among the religions--last 100 yrs
Relationship canceling conversation -->>
Appreciative Inquiry summits…
at Stanford and around the world
• Eclipse of deficit-based change…life-centric
inquiry into the good, the valued, the possible
• His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s vision on Nov. 9th
• Social Invention… “Chaordic” Organization
AI “4-D” Cycle
Typical Summit
•Opportunity Context
•Positive Core
the URI
•Constitutional Principles
Relationship & Organization
Insights on Success
Holographic Beginning
Polyphonic--Multiple Voices
Dislodgement of Certainty…Appreciative
From Negotiation to Narrative (Stories)
From Common Ground to Higher Ground
Retrospective Consensus…
Inspired Action on Behalf of the Whole
“Chaordic” Organizing
What do we mean by
• That shared body of beliefs--about our
relationships and organizing-- that are
necessary for realization of Purpose, and will
be used to design and guide practices,
structures, etc.
• The foundational body of belief as in-- “ We
hold these truths to be self evident, that all
people are created equal…”
• Not platitudes, not specific practices
Example Principles
• Authority is vested in and decisions are made
at the most local level possible, and includes
all relevant and affected parties.
• Each partner organization has the right to
maintain its autonomous identity and to
organize in any manner, using any practices,
which are consistent with the Purpose and
 Identify Problem
 Conduct Root Cause
 Brainstorm Solutions &
 Develop Action Plans
 Appreciate “What is”
(What gives life?)
 Imagine “What Might Be”
 Determine “What Should
 Create “What Will Be”
Metaphor: Organizations are
problems to be solved
Metaphor: Organizations are a
solution/mystery to be
We Are Born to Appreciate!
 Exceptionality
 Essentiality
 Equality/Voice
Appreciative Leadership
Peter Drucker’s definition of leadership…
Power and craft of the positive question
Framing and re-framing
Leadership from the future “there to here”
Concept of internal dialogue: healthy= 2:1
Storytelling and hope
Wholeness…internal and external voices
Praise…circulating all the good you can