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Religious & Spiritual Life

Appreciative Inquiry

What is Appreciative Inquiry?

What problems are you having? What is working around here?

These two questions underline the difference between traditional Change Management theory and Appreciative Inquiry. The traditional approach to change is to look for the problem, do a diagnosis, and find a solution. The primary focus is on what is wrong or broken; since we look for problems, we find them. By paying attention to problems, we emphasize and amplify them. This approach is consistent with a historical attitude in American Business that sees human systems as machines and parts (people) as interchangeable. We believe we fix anything and there is a right answer or solution to any organizational problem or challenge.

Appreciative Inquiry suggests that we look for what works in an organization. The tangible result of the inquiry process is a series of statements that describe where the organization wants to be, based on the high moments of where they have been. Because the statements are ground in real experience and history, people know how to repeat their success.

[Taken from:  The Thin Book of Appreciative Inquiry by Sue Annis Hammond (Thin Book Publishing Co.,  1996, pp. 6, 7).]

Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry

Offered in conjunction with DU's Human Resources "Colorado 14ers People Development Program," Chaplain Gary Brower offers a two-hour introduction to Appreciative Inquiry. 

The next class will be October 26th, from 11:00am - 1:00pm.  More details and registration information can be found at PioneerWeb, following this path:  Employee—Training—Professional & Career Development—Appreciative Inquiry

appreciative Living Circles

Are you interested in having a more positive outlook? Have you heard about Appreciative Inquiry and want to know more? Participating in an Appreciative Living Circle may be the ticket!

Appreciative Living is not about fixing ourselves or our lives, but in finding what works; where we excel; what we love; what makes us come alive. It is about taking responsibility for the life we have created and for the one we desire. An Appreciative Living Circle is a 4-week program (1-1/2 hours per class), and will be offered at no cost to participants, although you will be required to acquire a textbook. [Note: It is NOT a religiously- or faith-, based program, but is easily adaptable to anyone's belief system.] If you want a bit more information about Appreciative Living, check out

Because Gary is offering this during the summer, and folks have slightly different schedules, AND because it's a 4-week program, we're going to try something VERY different (and I hope it make sense!). He will offer each week's session twice, once on a Thursday and once on a Friday, for four weeks in succession. You can come on either the Thursday or the Friday.

The dates are:
Week 1: 8/4 or 8/5
Week 2: 8/11 or 8/12
Week 3: 8/18 or 8/19
Week 4: 8/25 or 8/26
Time: Noon to 1:30pm

Participant's Books:  Participants are asked to acquire (purchase or borrow) one of the following books. Either will be fine!  Both of them are by Jacqueline Kelm

Appreciative Living:  The Principle of Appreciative Inquiry in Personal Life

The Joy of Appreciative Living: Your 28-day plan to greater happiness in 3 incredibly easy steps

If you have questions, or want to sign up, please contact me at [email protected]


Gary is a firm believer in Appreciative Inquiry, a method of managing change (whether group/organizational or personal) based on what is working best in that group or individual. He holds a Certificate in "Appreciative Inquiry and the Practice of Positive Change" awarded by the Corporation for Positive Change. He is also a licensed trainer of "Appreciative Living Circles".

He is available to DU units and departments for consulting -- both as to whether or not AI is appropriate for your use, as well as a facilitator for an Appreciative Inquiry. 

You can contact chaplain Gary by email, or by calling 303-871-4488.