What is Appreciative Inquiry?

| (B)JEDI Committee

Supporting states on their equity exploration

In 2020, when the NWRA undertook the long-range objective to explore Racial Equity and our role or responsibility in it, we were cautious about getting locked into a narrative or cycles of criticism or blame for what was not working well and shortfalls we might surface. For this reason, we explored many approaches to equity work, to find one that represented our values and was a good fit for our community members.

We discovered that Appreciative Inquiry was a time-tested approach to transformational change that would serve our members well and help ensure we took a strengths-based approach to our equity reflections and planning. In 2020, the NWRA Leadership read Appreciative Leadership as a group. They invited committee members and the members at large to join in the self-reflection.  Committing to utilizing this approach to our equity work immediately resonated for our members and committees.

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) allows you to commit a future you dream of while acknowledging and building from what is already working well. This guide was created for our state members as a cursory introduction to Appreciative Inquiry for the purposes we applied in our equity work. This short, 10-page, guide helps those who are new to this methodology to get a cursory introduction in just a few short minutes and some additional resources they can follow up with. It is the first step in our equity road map, centering the approach on what is working well and collectively surfacing what we want more of. The AI design allowed us to establish buy-in from a national membership while honoring our commitment to take action to support the future we co-dreamed and designed.

What is Appreciative Inquiry?