If you are looking for an accessible introduction to AI, here is a quick 10-minute Appreciative Inquiry video intro by Jacqueline Kelm. It’s a big subject to squeeze into 10 minutes but she does a great job!
Only one thing I would add – in the Omni Hotel case study that Jacqueline mentions in the video, key members of the hotel staff are sent to a 5 star hotel to study how it does customer service and bring the knowledge back. You often see a similar method used on ‘business makeover’ TV shows like ‘Mary Queen of Shops’ and ‘The Hotel Inspector’ (these are UK TV shows – if you’re reading this outside the UK I imagine you can think of similar shows). While it’s a great method, it’s not the norm for most Appreciative Inquiry processes.
Instead, most Appreciative Inquiry interventions focus on finding what’s working, what inspires, and what encourages success within an organisation – which is useful, because it costs a lot less in terms of time and money.
You don’t have to organise huge, set-piece AI processes either – even something as small as inviting people to share successes at the start of your team meetings will make a difference to their mood and motivation, and so improve your team’s thinking skills and problem-solving ability.