Dr. David Cooperrider's founding theoretical work in "Appreciative Inquiry" is creating a positive revolution in the leadership of change. With implications for every aspect of business, AI has experienced exponential growth as a change initiative methodology. This growth is testimony to the profound impact AI is having in business, education, healthcare, communities, non-profit and government institutions.
David speaks at large corporate and association conferences and has served as advisor to a wide variety of organizations including the Boeing Corporation, Fairmount Minerals, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, McKinsey, Parker Hannifin, Sherwin Williams, Wal-Mart, American Red Cross, American Hospital Association, Cleveland Clinic, and World Vision.
David often serves as meeting speaker and leader of large group interactive conference events. Contact us to learn more about David Cooperrider's speaking engagements, with a general overview of his speaking topics and time options (speech, speech with breakout session, speech as part of full day program, 2-3 day training programs, etc.)
David Cooperrider and Chuck Fowler discuss the opening of the Fowler Center for Sustainable Value.
Together, the concepts of Appreciative Inquiry and Sustainable Value answer the challenge of business today: to generate wealth while strategically addressing the pressures of multiple stakeholders, increasing competition, and ever-greater resource limitations.
This was one of the most powerful examples of the AI Summit method ever recorded–showing how the AI Summit can blend advanced economic strategy analysis with action oriented multi-stakeholder designing.
by David L. Cooperrrider, Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University Article prepared for the Organizational Dynamics 2012 Executive Summary The emergence of strengths-based management may be the management innovation of our time. Nearly…
David Cooperrider, PhD, internationally renowned for his work which helped catalyze today’s strengths revolution in management, has been named the next Peter F. Drucker Distinguished Fellow for his contribution to the field of management.
“This is part of an ongoing series from Harvard Business Review and the Skoll World Forum on how mega-corporations are integrating innovative ways to solve social and environmental problems into their core operations.”
In appreciative inquiry’s 4th "D" we help companies set up an affirmative organization learning culture which spreads "what works" with the click of a button–it’s called the ASN, or accelerating strengths network. In Wal-Mart’s early work we helped Andy Rueben spread over 2000 stories of success–all in low cost storytelling ways–to help inspire other employees, designers, and managers throughout the Wal-mart system and beyond. This story shows the ripple effects too. Here the CEO of Kimberely Clark shares how the spark at Wal-mart became a passion at KC, and how stories have wings and can fly from mountain top to mountaintop. This kind of strengths based, story based, network based change is empowering and fun. Change does not need to be dreaded, or create resistance–people love change, really. When these sparks ( stories) are set free, they grow into bright flames that light the way for others, and together become a corporate torch (legacy). The CEO of Kimberly Clark in this HBR series shows how easily this passion for positive change can spread to employees at every level.
"Some of the best thinking on how to meet our sustainability goals have come from employees in our mills. We first introduced Neve Compacto, a low-energy paper product, in Italy, to help retailers save shelf space and moms save room in their storage closet. Our Brazilian team saw how well it was working there and adapted it for use in their market. It’s been a huge success there. The Compacto rolls reduce the average amount of packaging used by 13%, which is equivalent to just over 1.8 million empty plastic water bottles in one year."
See on skollworldforum.org
The people of Cleveland are mobilizing around a compelling vision to transform their communities into a flourishing city. They have the courage to dream a magnanimous vision for their city in the face of tremendous challenges….
Today’s Huntington Post article by Michele Hunt is about putting vision and values to work. Highlighted is the power of wholeness–and a shift from dialogical (gridlocked) democracy to design democracy: where “we the people” do not just provide input, but actually engage in the design of strategic change. This case story involves Cleveland.
The City of Cleveland: Designing a Green City on a Blue Lake: Despite media attention on federal efforts to transition to a green economy, the real change happening is a quiet revolution taking places among US cities. Over 973 mayors have signed on to the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. However, even with the exponential growth of effort by cities, most of the action still remains fragmented. Most initiatives are either within a specific sector or a small area of a city resulting in the absence of systemic approaches to change. Read more
Several organizing principles can help companies sustain both profitability and a sense of purpose.
Good intention to do good is one thing. But perhaps the most the essential thing “business as an agent of world benefit” does is to combine good intention with brilliant management. MIT’s research looks at several organizing principles, and why good management cannot be compromised by simply having good intentions. But there is another real lesson here: having a purpose beyond profits is the best way to realize the highest levels in human motivation. People give their lives to real causes–and our world has plenty of them just waiting for leaders to turn our world’s great challenges into bona fide business opportunities. Purpose, according to Ratan Tata, the recently retired CEO of the Tata Group, is “a spiritual and moral call to action; it is what a person or company stands for.”
See on sloanreview.mit.edu
Smart Grid – We have followed National Grid’s smart grid pilot in Worcester, MA throughout its evolution, and it continues to be one to watch. The smart meter installations have been completed…
Utility executives face difficult challenges in leading the industry-level change needed to secure a prosperous future. National Grid employed Strategic Convening using the Appreciative Inquiry Positive Design Summit to overcome such challenges. This article shares the National Grid experience to orchestrate two major Appreciative Inquiry Summits in Massachusetts. It also presents possible implications for the Energy Utility Industry and for the Energy Utilities that choose to lead the way. The article provides the basis for real optimism among utilities. It shows how relationships and understanding among utilities, regulators, customers, public advocates, solution providers and other key players can be strengthened to enable a profitable and sustainable transition toward a clean energy future.
I think National Grid is an extraordinary company in the utilities domain. They connect with communities and customers, better than any other company of its kind. I have seen them in operation–convening 500 people, stakeholders from every part of the system–to not just talk, but to design together. Its Appreciative Inquiry Summits–large group design labs–have taken place in Worcester; in Albany; and in the whole statewide energy planning in Massachussets with Governor Deval Patrick. Read more
Fairmount Minerals sand products deliver exceptional performance for the oil & gas, water filtration, foundry, glass, sports, recreation and building industries.
Fairmount Minerals, a couple of years ago, was singled out by the US Chamber as the #1 corporate citizen in America. Today embedded sustainability and positive organization development are the twin commitments that continue to propel their growth, empowerment goals, and community engagement strategies. The CFO headed up the launching of the sustainable development strategic change process with a “whole-system-in-the room summit–and it was an example that is now being modeled and benchmarked around the world. It involved a shift from micro-management skills to macro-management skills and tools. One of those tools is the appreciative inquiry sustainable design summit–or “AI Summit” for short.
Here is a short description from an article published in Organizational Dynamics titled: “The Concentration Effect of Strengths”–see: http://www.davidcooperrider.com/
Today the CFO is now CEO of the company, but that’s getting ahead of the story… Read more
How many major corporations have set real environmental business goals like WalMart–with both world impact and business benefit? The retailer set a 2020 target to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy and create zero waste.
Its a thrill to track Walmart’s continuing journey in the sustainable innovation domain. Early on, while I helped to lead the appreciative inquiry sustainable design summit “whole system in the room” planning process, I met so many great thinkers, innovators and leaders–from the Blu Skye strategy firm to learning partnerships with Interface, Pategonia, General Mills, and many others. It was so clear how the best in people comes out when two things happen: (1) you bring in the meaningful outside, that is stakeholders from customers to supply chain partners and communities; and (2) you bring the search for sustainable value into the mix. There is a formula emerging here where instead of starting with whats wrong, you start by concentrating liminal strengths, what I call wholepower:
Positive change = wholepower X whypower X waypower Read more
“Brandchannel – always branding. always on. (Apple makes improvements in #supplychain #sustainability http://t.co/0ai98e2aTU via @brandchannelhub)”
Apple’s Lisa Jackson is overseeing Apple’s commitment to 100% renewable energy; Apple has made systemic strides in its supplier responsibility goals; and Apple moving into health advances, educational advances, nutritional excellence advances like never before. Steve Jobs’ goal of putting a ding into the universe is expanding rapidly beyond insanely great products. One of the tools used to advance supply chain visions and responsibility goals was the Appreciative inquiry Design Summit. It involves bringing the whole system into the room as collaborative partners, sometimes as many as 100- 500 people, including customers, and workers and managers from every level and every country involved.
For more on the positive change approach of the Appreciative Inquiry Summit, see the following link and blog post and the pdf at the end on “The Positive Arc of Systemic Strengths. Click here:
See on www.brandchannel.com
A new analysis by the Design Management Institute concludes that design-driven businesses have outperformed the SampP by a whopping 228 over the past…
In this study, design-inspired companies had these characteristics: design had to be embedded within the company’s organizational structure; design leadership had to be present at senior and divisional levels; and there had to be a senior-level commitment to design’s use as an innovation resource and a force for positive change.
The new analysis puts real numbers to what design junkies suspected all along: in the past 10 years, design-driven companies outperformed the Standard & Poor’s 500–a stock market index of 500 large publicly traded companies–by 228%.
Likewise, our strengths-based applied practice, with the next generation Appreciative Inquiry Summit called “the sustainable design factory”–has taught us that design-inspired x sustainable value x whole system collaboration= the fastest way to bring out the best in people, stakeholder relationships, and passion for higher performance. Read on:
See on www.fastcodesign.com
IKEA is on its way to self-supplying all its energy with renewables in an effort to stabilize energy costs in a carbon-contrained world. They are bringing that approach to their customers as well.
IKEA is committed to ‘future proofing’ its company, and is proactively anticipating many of the challenges to be faced in the coming years.
Not only are the business results amazing, but the collective sense of higher purpose is bringing out the best in human energy, collaborative capacity across silos, trust across the top managment team, and inspired innovation.
I have termed this phenomenon, with my colleague Ron Fry, “mirror flourishing”–pointing to the powerful posiitive and collaborative psychology of sustainable value creation. Ikea demonstrates and confirms an observation that I wrote about with Ron in the Journal of Corporate Citizenship–a special issue we did on “the positive psychology of sustainability:
“Obviously, in these thirty years in the field of management, we have seen many developments: the birth of the worldwide web; re-engineering of the corporation; participative management; the quality revolution; and many more. Because of our social science background we’ve had a keen interest in how each particular management innovation affected the human factor—things like inspiration and hope, engagement, entrepreneurship and innovation, and collaborative capacity. And herein lies our number one observation from the real world that has been most striking: there is nothing that brings out the best in human enterprise faster, more consistently, or powerfully than calling the whole organization to design sustainability solutions to humanity’s greatest challenges. Read more
Encyclopedia of Positive Questions, 2nd Ed. by Diana Whitney, Amanda Trosten-Bloom, David Cooperrider, Brian S. Kaplin
As I have written elsewhere:
Inquiry is… the Experience of Mystery
We live in world’s our questions create. One of the things almost all sustainability designers, entrepreneurs, do is ask inspired questions. And it can be learned. In many ways, the art of leadership is the art of the question. But not just any kind of question. Its about questions that help us see possibility and opportunity–what’s best and what works, and what’s next and what’s possible. These are not problematizing questions (what’s wrong) but are based on appreciative inquiry into the true, the good, the better and the possible. Its about possibility science where an “N” of one shows that its possible. As Professor Langer at Harvard once said: “if you can teach one dog to yodel, then you know dogs can yodel.”
Here is the second edition of a book Read more
Thomas Edison was known to remark…
We are on the eve of management’s finest hour. Exponential innovation is transforming everything from energy to education, and as it does, a different perspective of the future of management emerges. Everyone is beginning to imagine once-in-a-civilization-opportunities. It is no longer utopian to speak of our witnessing the end of extreme poverty through profitability, the emergence a world of abundant, clean renewable energy, the spread of education to 100 percent of the earth’s children, of business as a pragmatic force for peace, of cradle-to-cradle factories and supply chains that turn so-called ‘waste’ to wealth, or of the birth of full spectrum flourishing where businesses can excel, people can thrive, and nature can flourish. Read more