At the beginning of this year we were generously given a sum of money with the instruction to invest it in something that would enhance the future growth of Soul Action. After considerable discussion and research we reached an agreement that it would be wise – as we enter our seventh year – to use this opportunity to take stock and evaluate. The process that was recommended to us is called Appreciate Inquiry (AI), which as Bushe (2013) explains is a:
a method for studying & changing [groups, organizations, communities] that advocates collective inquiry into the best of what is in order to imagine what could be
Developed in the 1980’s, it feels like a good fit for Soul Action, since for a long time we’ve been emphasising how when the resources (best) people have are developed, they can address their own needs. We’ve invited two external facilitators to lead the people, projects & churches we work with to lead us through the process. Over 3 full days we’ll aim to gather 75 representatives from 50 organisations.
My understanding of the process is that it:
- DISCOVERS: identifies what works well
- DREAMS: envisions what would work well in the future
- DESIGNS: plans and prioritizes would will work well next
- DEPLOYS: implements and executes the proposed design
The aim is to build – or rebuild – around what works, rather than trying to fix what doesn’t. We make a start this week.