"Appreciative Inquiry is the study and exploration of what gives life to human systems when they function at their best."

J. Ludema, D. Whitney, B. Mohr, T. Griffin, The Appreciative Inquiry Summit


Appreciative Inquiry Basics

Weiss Consulting uses the principles and methods of an asset based approach called Appreciative Inquiry.  AI's underlying assumption is that people and organizations are by nature full of capabilities, resources and strengths.  These assets are available to be identified and leveraged. 

Another principle of AI is that organizations move in the direction they ask questions about.  When groups study problems and conflicts, they often find that the number and severity of these problems grow.  When groups study achievements, peak experiences and best practices, these phenomena, too, tend to flourish.

Appreciative Inquiry deliberately asks positive questions to generate constructive dialogue and inspired action.  It encourages people to draw upon deeply held values, interrupts nonproductive patterns, and pulls people into their desired future.  The solutions generated are likely to work because the seeds of those solutions are already present in the organization and its people.

Please let us know if you would like to receive a short article on
how to turn problem-focused questions into appreciative questions.

Common elements of an appreciative, assets based approach include collecting first-person stories of successes that embody the organization at its best; crystallizing vivid statements that express the chosen future; and launching multiple streams of activity to create that future.

Additional information about our assets based principles and practice, and resources for your use, are available on this site:

  • AI Q&A gives answers to common questions about this approach.
  • AI Reading gives you links to a presentation and two published articles about Weiss Consulting's asset based work.