The 5D Cycle of Appreciative Inquiry Jackie Stavros Appreciative inquiry is a

The 5D Cycle of Appreciative Inquiry
Jackie Stavros
Appreciative inquiry is a collaborative search for the best in people, their organizations, and the relevant world around them. The basic tenet of appreciative inquiry is that a system will grow in whatever direction you focus. If you want to formally bring together a team, an organization, even a community through a guided process, appreciative inquiry uses its 5D cycle. It’s define, discovery, dream, design, and destiny. And this leverages the energy of the positive core to changes never thought possible.
At each phase of the cycle, a conversation takes place. You have representatives of the whole system invited to create positive images of the future. Their dreaming, it’s based on discoveries of the positive core from their conversation. And then they actually real-time design projects, programs, new innovations. Then they decide how to best deploy these solutions to create a flourishing organization.
Let me give you an example, somethinga topic most of us understand. We all want returning customers. So first you frame the focus: “We want returning customers.” When you go into a discovery and you practice inquiry, you get insights into what matters most. Why are customers returning?
Then there’s the dream. Everyone is together envisioning what might be. They’re creating shared images of what the future is. And then they’re the beginning to transform that it’s really about exceptional customer experiences that bring customers back.
The fourth and the fifth D are design and destiny. In real time, there’s cycles of prototyping, generating a design where people can deploy this. And they’re going to come up with, “How do we deliver exceptional customer experiences?”
In all of these phases you have the configuration of the whole system. People are working together to bring about the change identified as most desirable to help your organization flourish. In this example it was not just about returning customers, but exceptional customer experiences. That’s what they wanted to create.
The 5D cycle can be applied to any task, any topic, and it’s been used with a variety of organizations: Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Verizon, Google, the United States Navy, and even the United Nations Global Compact.