On April 25-28, 2012 the 5th World Conference on Appreciative Inquiry will be held in Ghent, Belgium.
The conference offers lectures, workshops, stories and dialogues where you will learn about, share and experience truly innovative examples of connectedness and innovation. From the micro to the macro level. On the micro-level we see the power of AI in tools for the elevation of strengths. On the enterprise level, methods for the combination and integration of strengths have been applied in talent and performance management systems, and in participative strategic planning processes. AI has definitely changed the way we look at leadership and change.
by David L. Cooperrrider, Weatherhead School of Management,
Case Western Reserve University
Article prepared for the Organizational Dynamics 2012
The emergence of strengths-based management may be the management innovation of our time. Nearly every organization has been introduced to its precepts—for example, the insight that a person or organization will excel only by amplifying strengths, never by simply fixing weaknesses. But in spite of impressive returns, organizations and managers have almost all stopped short of the breakthroughs that are possible.
By David L. Cooperrider
We have an unprecedented opportunity in human history to live longer and healthier than ever before. For one thing we have access, from around the world and through each of the seasons, to the richest, diverse array of nutritional foods any era might have been able to provide. And yet today, 35.7% of Americans are now obese, and 68.8% are either overweight or obese. The number one health issue in the United States is obesity and if the current trend continues, by 2048 all adults in the U.S. will be overweight or obese.
David L. Cooperrider and Lindsey N. Godwin August 10th, 2010
“Fields change. And the field of organization development (OD) is changing more than most.” (see Cooperrider et al, 2005; Bushe and Marshak, 2009).
Part of OD’s change is being fueled by exciting breakthroughs in our theories of leadership –what has been called “the strengths revolution in management.” Another major force has been the emergence of Appreciative Inquiry, a paradigm-altering form of action-research that has permeated the fields of organization change and social innovation.
Over two decades ago David Cooperrider and Suresh Srivastva’s Appreciative Inquiry into Organizational Life forever changed the way we look at organization development and change—it shifted our attention from the world of organizational life as “a problem-to-be-solved” to the world brimming with innovation and a “universe-of-strengths.” A decade later, Gallup’s landmark research study confirmed this basic principle: a person – or organization– will flourish only by amplifying their strengths, never by fixing weaknesses. Since then, millions of managers and leaders around the world have shifted their attention to strengths. And today, many are now asking, “What’s next?” They want to know to take the strengths mindset beyond its common individual-level talent management application and embed strength-based methods into everything they do across the enterprise and beyond.
Why are ‘firms of endearment”—rising industry leading stars that have created huge emotional bonds with the world such as Toyota, Whole Foods, GE, and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters—generating investor returns at a rate of some 1,026 percent over a ten year period compared to 122 percent for the S&P 500; more that a 8-to-1 ratio!
It’s because going green is a magic. It’s a productivity engine. What happens, in a nutshell, is a leap in human energy. What happens is an eruption of human imagination. What is generated is a culture of innovation, hope, and a powerful sense of purpose, meaning, and value.
The untold story about the companies embracing sustainability is really an HR story. It is all about the kind of super-charged employee engagement—heart, mind, and motivation—that every C.E.O wants.
How, for example, did Fairmount Minerals do it? Imagine it: you are a loader-operator in the sand pits of this dirty, hard-core mining and manufacturing company, and yet you are on fire with pride, and the company has realized a sizzling 40% annual earnings growth for the past two years, ever since it decided to harness the sustainability advantage to “do good and do well.”