Several months ago, my friend and colleague Loretta Donovan invited me to co-author a special issue of the International Journal of Appreciative Inquiry. Appreciative Inquiry is a change management approach, focusing on identifying what is working well, analyzing why it is working well and then doing more of it. I said “yes” to her invitation and the process of co-editing the special edition journal “Raising the Appreciative Voice” became a unexpected and inspiring learning experience. Loretta and I called for proposals, selected articles and worked with the authors. Our Editor brought it all together and here’s the result.
Now that the Journal has been published, I am turning my attention to how to apply Appreciative Inquiry (AI) to Expressive Age (EA). Just to remind you: AI as in what’s working well; EA as in a time in life (age 50 to 75) and the way you express it.
What is working well in your life? Why do you think it’s working well? What else could you do to express yourself?
Given the standard brevity of a blog posting, I will leave it to you to dig deeper. While Appreciative Inquiry was designed for working with organizations, I think it has something to offer us at an Expressive Age.
Start with four D words: DISCOVERY, DREAM, DESIGN, DESTINY. (Thank you David Cooperrider)! Taking liberties with the field of Appreciative Inquiry, here’s my suggestion. Write down each word allowing space for your responses.
Discovery — What do I appreciate about my life now?
Dream — Given my past, what can I make of my life at this time of life?
Design — How can I express myself in new ways?
Destiny — How can I embrace Expressive Age through new ways of being?