Pursuit of the Positive: A Model for Change
In today’s society there is a great deal of emphasis and focus on all that is wrong with the world, with our country and even our businesses.
We seem to go through great pains at times to find things to disagree with that don’t seem to fit our view of how things should be or simply don’t work. The goal is always to search for problems and allocate intense resources to fix them.
In the world of organizational development this is considered a deficiency model, whereby change is always derived through finding a negative situation to correct.
Certainly it is necessary to know where things aren’t working. However, for a firm to produce positive, lasting change, there may be a better way to mobilize your business for change and improvement.
One organizational change model making its way into boardrooms is called Appreciative Inquiry (AI).
Instead of focusing on deficiencies in an organization, AI analyzes the positives inside a team, group or organization, and repositions the situation to ask the question, “How can we take all that is good, expand these and make what we do better?”
“Its assumption is simple; every human system has something that works right—things that give it life when it is vital, effective, and successful,” states AI consultant Bernard Mohr.
Take recruiting and retention inside an accounting firm, for example. Most firms look at the environment and immediately frame the situation negatively; talent is in short supply, good people are leaving the firm for industry or the best people we have talked with lately are all looking for an opportunity with a Big Four firm. These examples, and others, are what we consistently hear from firms that are looking at the situation from a deficiency perspective. Read more on Accounting Today.