Appreciative Inquiry is all about making change. It looks to the positive strengths to make change happen. The leader has to motivate and empower followers in order for the change to occur.
Often when businesses or individuals have a problem they seek to find what is going wrong and focus all their efforts at resolving the negative. Appreciative Inquiry turns this on its head by finding what is working and focusing all efforts on make the positive even better.
There are four stages of appreciative inquiry Discovery, Dream, Design and Destiny. (Daft, R. L. 2014 P.467) Discovery looks for the strengths to find what is working. Dream this allows us to imagine a world in which the organization would be like if the best outcomes were a normal occurrence. Design asks us to create a plan so that we can build the dream. Destiny is all about implementing the plan.
As an example if an organization has a high turnover rate instead of looking at the negative why employees are leaving Appreciative Inquiry looks at why employees are staying and we would then look at increasing the positive reasons employees stay. Appreciative Inquiry gets out of the negative thinking that can lead to pointing fingers and placing blame.
Appreciative Inquiry need not only be for used for solving problems it can be used for change in general. It can also be applied at the personal and organizational level.