Creating Conversations

Here in the Conversation Space, you are invited to participate in online conversations. To join a conversation, scroll down to the end of the conversation and click reply or enter your response in the comment box. You may also share video and photos. Please limit the width of  videos/photos to 500 pixels to keep the site easy to read.

You must be a member of the site to participate in discussions. If you are not a member, please click here to join. 

Dialogue with the Author - April 30, 2020

Appreciative Inquiry as Daily Leadership Practice: Realizing Change One Conversation at a Time

4462994205?profile=RESIZE_584xBy: Luc Verheijen, Saskia Tjepkema, Joeri Kabalt

The Book: Appreciative Inquiry as Daily Leadership Practice: Realizing Change One Conversation at a Time

Foreword and Introduction: Appreciative Inquiry as Daily Leadership Practice Foreword and Introduction

To purchase this book, Click Here

View the recording of the webinar: Click Here.
Handout for Breakout Groups: Click Here.
Slides from webinar:  Click Here.
In their book Appreciative Inquiry as a Daily Leadership Practice, the authors explore how we can make choices in how we enter our everyday relationships that lead to more connected, more rewarding collaborations whether they are linked to a specific change process, or to everyday working life. The book, a collection of shorter chapters, is filled with stories and helpful principles or models, both from people who have been interviewed, as examples from the authors’ experiences. These illustrate how, especially with small gestures, we can take our part in establishing generative connections. All these stories show that the ‘leadership’ in the books’ title not only refers to those in a formal leadership position, but invites all of us to contemplate on how we can be leaders that help realizing change in our contexts, one conversation at a time.
During the webinar, the authors will share some of their favorite stories and anecdotes from the book. The ones that they enjoyed most, or that they learned the most from when writing. They will also share some of the experiences that shaped their understanding of Appreciative Inquiry and the way in which they practice it. As such, the webinar will give a personal perspective on both AI and the book from the viewpoint of the authors. This will serve as an invitation for participants to join in the conversation and reflect on the same questions for themselves

Questions to be Explored:

  • Can you share one of your stories of how you practice ‘being AI’ in your daily
    experiences and connections?
  • What concepts and mindsets are part of the way you understand and practice AI?
  • What is the role of ‘stories’ and a narrative perspective in AI?
  • Especially at this time as we are invited to combine working and living with ‘social
    distancing’, and at the same time relate closely, what is your story that helps us
    understand how you do this?

Poll Results during the webinar: 4590332465?profile=RESIZE_710x











The authors are part of Kessels & Smit, The Learning Company, an international network of consultants, researchers and entrepreneurs in the domain of organizational development and change. Luc, Saskia and Joeri support managers, teams and organizations on their development journeys. Appreciative Inquiry is an important source of inspiration in their work.

E-mail me when people leave their comments –


  • Thank you Luc, Saskia and Joeri for a wonderful Dialogue with the Authors today. We loved your stories, sharing and examples of AI in organizations, in life, in difficult times, and more. 

    This space is dedicated to continuing the conversations.

  • This is a stream of comments from the 'chat' on our zoom meeting today:

    Welcome: Where in the world?

    From  Neena Verma : Namaste …. Neena from Delhi, India

    From  Jeanie Cockell : Jeanie from Victoria BC Canada…love this book!

    From  Suzette Brown : Suzette from Charlotte, NC

    From  Jeanie Cockell : Joan -- good morning from Victoria Canada -- an important book

    From  Cathy Sharp : hello from Edinburgh

    From  Beanta Alberink : Lovely to be connected with you all from Lausanne, Switzerland!

    From  Ilana Reisz : Good Morning from Houston Texas. It's a beautiful day here.

    From  Alejandra Leon de la Barra : Good day from Mexico Alejandra

    From  Thomas Buch : Hello from Denmark. I’m happy to be here

    From  Rik Spann : Hello Everyone, Warm wishes from Amsterdam. And what a great welcome with this music…

    From  dian marie hosking : hello from the stormy Malvern Hills in england

    From  anne radford : Hi everyone from Anne in London

    From  Fernando Caballero : Hello Everyone, Fer, from Lima, Perú.

    From  Charru’s  Phone : Good evening from Charru, India

    From  Linda Denton : San Juan Capistrano, CA 7:00 a.m. Love the music.

    From  Neena Verma : Good evening from India

    From  John Raadschelders : Good day to all from Brunssum the Netherlands

    From  Beth Meriam : Greetings Global Friends - delighted to be able to join you all. Looking forward to our latest learning adventure!

    From  Nelson Jimenez Colon : Nelson from Puerto Rico hello to everyoune

    From  Maaike Visser : Hi everyone, from the The Hague area, Holland!! Lovely to see you all!

    From  karen Gold : Hello from Toronto

    From  Rolla Lewis : Welcome from Portland, Oregon

    From  Katy Kent : Hey from London everyone!

    From  Marinda Oberndorff : Hello Everyone, Aerdenhout - the Netherlands

    From  Claire Lustig-Rochet : hello from the French Alps

    From  Marjolein Veldman : Hi from Driebergen! the Netherlands

    From  Carmien Brys : Hi from Leuven, Belgium ! Special hi to my former colleagues :-)

    From  Roger Wadsworth : Hello from Cape Town :)

    From  Annelinde Gerritsen : Hi from Arnhem The Netherlands

    From  Sofia Jeurissen : Hallo! from Amsterdam

    From  Jacob van der Wal : Utrecht here - the Netherlands :-)

    From  Lisa Rees : Hello from Milton, Vermont

    From  Eija Kjelin : Good afternoon from Helsinki!

    From  Kristien Jenaer : Hi there from Belgium

    From  Tina Gadow : Hi for Berlin, Germany!

    From  Rieko Onuma : Hi From Rieko, Japan : )

    From  Edel Roddy : Hi from Glasgow

    From  Maricarmen Rodas : Hello from Perú

    From  Doug Gilbert : Hello from Castle Pines, Colorado (near Denver).

    From  Ana Mitchell : Orlando, Florida

    From  Renee Porter-Medley : Southwest Florida

    From  Niels Tekke : Hi to all from The Netherlands!

    From  susan macdonald : Greetings From Boston! This book has been such an inspiration to me during these difficult weeks in our world!

    From  Priscilla Verwoert : Holland Haarlem

    From  Manou Basemans : Hello everyone, from ’s-Hertogenbosch The Netherlands

    From  Jyotsna Uppal : Hello from the UAE!

    From  Hanneke Laarakker : Good afternoon / good morning from Malden, the Netherlands

    From  Juliëtte Daniëls : Hi from Utrecht, The Netherands

    From  celiane borges : Amsterdam  - The Netherlands :-)

    From  Herman Geenen : Hi from Belgium

  • This is taken from the "chat" on our zoom meeting today. Questions that came in during the Q+A:


    Very interested in hearing about AI in "tough times" and importance of acknowledging and respecting the difficult aspects, while focusing on more appreciative elements like caring for each other.

     Frank Barret says in his book Yes to the Mess that disrupting your routine is core for creative thinking and change – can you talk about that more?

     I'd like to ask the authors what their experiences are and what concrete tools they have to give shape to the Design phase in an AI inquiry process. I struggle with that. How to translate, so to say, the Dream phase to the Design phase? In the book, attention is given to experiments; are there other ways/tools? (NB I'm a bit familiar with prototyping). Especially for processes that take a longer breath and are complicated (example: a development organization that has the ambition to develop a strategy to support their local partners in Africa and Asia with their long-term goals).

    Can you share an example of using AI in managing people, refeering to the title of your book "daily leadership"?

    I’d like to use AI to inform an active research project, its a new approach for me, so my question is around how to begin… any tips for the define phase to create a clear and workable topic

    our book enhance your work by sharing what you know and making it more understandable when you go into an organization?

    Thank you all! Great to meet you. I have to attend another conference. Have a great day/night

    How would you use AI in ethical decision making in the context of the humanitarian world?

    What is your experience of having groups/leaders asking for tools? I find it difficult sometime to create a safe place where people see the value of conversations.

    What magic question would bring people together in these challenging times?

    Whats the difference between appreciative inquiry and inquring appreciatively?

    How does mindfulness play into the “Dream” portion of the 4D approach? With the definition of mindfulness as “awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally."

    I've been away from AI for over 4 years after completing my dissertation, so thank you ALL for helping me renew my strength and passion for using AI principles in my current phase of life, as a K-12 educator.  Looking forward to continuing the conversations.

    I would like to know what question would be effective in convincing my co-workers to do something totally new to them but very important to do? 

    Can you tell us more about the way to think of vulnerability of leadership in daly situation?

    In the Design Phase we use sometimes the Goose Egg, which you will find in Jane M. Watkins & Bernard Mohr book

    It’s about asking purposeful questions

    Design phase from my perspective (also inspired by Yes to the Mess, indeed Celiane, great book !!, and my own experience) : ‘setting the stage’ for the jam (with minimal structures, negotiating the non-negotional constraint, sense of purpose, passion, practice and play.

    " What magic question would bring people together in these challenging times?"  I worry that's what we're seeking.  The best questions are those that people generate for themselves - i think?

    How do you work with your team in home office?

    Thank you for this wonderful experience meeting and learning from the authors. I need to prep for another webinar.

    How to involve people at work to contribute to the organisation

    Thanks for a great answer to my question, very clear

    On page 219 in the Epilogue of your book it state "the difference is made by the quality of the interplay and the quality of the joint cooperation on projects in shared ownership".  Then on p 221 it describes re-connecting daily as enabling people to develop this quality interplay.  Can you share some stories about how you do this?

    We call random set ups randomised coffee trials - could be done on line

    What we learn in this crisis is that we are indeed a system as a whole. So let's us try to act like that in the future.

    Appreciative Leadership is also a useful reading

    Conversations Worth Having by Stavros and Torres, , a great book !

    Luc, Saskia, Joeri - your book is such a valuable contribution to AI - practical, enjoyable to read, great stories, lots of ideas, questions, opportunity to reflect on daily practice of AI…

    Collective leadership - where nothing is clear and everything keeps changing - inspired by these ideas
  • Resources shared during the Dialogue with the Authors:

    Conversations Worth Having, by Jackie Stavros and Cheri Torres

    Appreciative Leadership, by Diana Whitney and AmandaTrosten-Bloom

    Yes to the Mess, Frank Barrett

    Building Resilience with appreciative Inquiry, by Jeanie Cockell and Joan McArthur-Blair 

  • Thank you Dawn, for sharing some of the chat, it gives a good impression of the richness of the international group that participated in the Dialogue. And the questions are great to build on, here!

    For everyone who could not attend: the webinar consisted of three blocks. First, we shared some of the stories from the book and explored concepts that are very important to us in AI, such as its generative nature (it is about much more than positivity), the importance of ‘being’ AI when practicing it, and the focus on 'what gives life' and energy to a system. The last part was the Q&A. The middle part was a small group exchange. Since this is not on video, please find a brief summary here, for those who are interested.

    An AI experience in small groups

    Because it is always so much more impactful to experience AI rather than just talk about it, we created breakout rooms for a conversation in small groups. We prepared 5 questions, and invited every participant to choose the question that resonated the most for him/her personally. 

    Beforehand, we deliberately formulated questions that were different in focus, because people in the webinar differ in terms of experience with AI, had different interests and learning goals, and in general, these times create a wide variety of experiences for people and evoke a wide range of emotions. We did take care to craft the questions according to the principles for generative questions that we learned from Ron Fry and Gervase Bushe.

    • Does the question touch both mind and heart?
    • Will answering the question create a connection between people?
    • Is the question surprising?
    • Can the question create a different perspective?


    We were happy to see that people came back from the breakout room with a ‘bubbly’ energy, engaging in the chat with each other. A quick poll learned that all questions had been chosen by people, with a preference for the one prited in bold below:

    • Can you share one story of how you practice ‘being AI’ in your daily (working) life? What unique quality or strength of yours shines through in this way of being?
    • When you think back to one of your tough moments from the last few weeks, a time that you felt anxious, drained of energy, maybe even hopeless… What and/or whom helped you through this moment? How? Can you share the story?
    • If you were to design a T-shirt that would express who you are as an AI practitioner…. What would it look like? Who would you give that T-shirt to thank them for what you learned from them?
    • A lot is going on which is very worrying and outside our knowledge and control. And at the same time, we experience moments of wonder and surprise, of connectedness and inspiration. What did you discover during the last weeks that is so valuable that you want to hold on to it in the future? What will help you to do so?
    • What ideas and foundations that are part of the way you understand and practice AI do you draw upon most, especially in this period? Can you share one recent example of how you do this?

    That 'wonderful moment' question was also one of the questions that people would like to take with them to ask other people in their environment, in the next weeks. Just like the 'tough moment' question. And the idea that it can be powerful to work with several questions at once, during these special times. Allowing the conversation to flow according to the group's focus and needs, that may differ from day to day.

  • Thank you Luc, Saskia and Joeri for a lovely webinar, you have given me inspiration and food for thought, very valuable 🌷

This reply was deleted.

You need to be a member of Taos Institute Online Communities to add comments!

Join Taos Institute Online Communities

Live Support