Nancy Peterson


A Creative and Appreciative Approach to Strategic Planning


Who Should Attend:

Leaders and participants in strategic planning processes who are searching for new ideas to invigorate their planning and results

Overview of the Workshop:

How satisfied are you with your organization’s planning processes? Do you find yourself recreating the same SWOT analysis every 3-5 years? Are you searching for a different and more effective approach to engage key stakeholders in helping your organization adapt and grow?

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a strength-based approach to change that:

  • Builds on what is already working well within the system
  • Emphasizes collaboration and participation of all voices in the system
  • Approaches change as a journey rather than an event

Co-originated by David Cooperrider in his 1980 thesis – “Positive Image, Positive Action”, AI is more than a model. It’s a philosophy to appreciate the best of what already exists in order to create a positive image of the future and align organizational structures, systems, processes and people with the desired future.

Workshop Objectives:

In this experiential workshop, participants will collaborate as members of the same organization in creating one strategic plan. After attending the workshop participants will be able to:

  • Describe Appreciative Inquiry and how it strengthens traditional strategic planning
  • Develop appreciative questions for use in strategic planning and beyond
  • Illustrate how the SOAR framework provides an alternative to the SWOT analysis
  • Identify one or more elements from the AI process to use with their organization’s current strategic planning method

Thursday, April 17th – AI’s 5D Cycle – Define, Discover and Dream

Participants will experience 3 D’s of Appreciative Inquiry’s 5D cycle

Define the topics for the strategic planning inquiry
Discover the organization’s positive core – strengths and values on which to create the future
Dream the organization’s highest potential, most positive future

Learning Objectives Day 1

  • Describe the Appreciative Inquiry history, philosophy, process and principles
  • Experience the Appreciative Inquiry protocol of questions through paired interviews
  • Learn the SOAR framework (strengths, opportunities, aspirations and results)
  • Select themes from the inquiry on which to vision the positive future

Friday, April 18th – AI’s 5D Cycle – Design and Deliver

Participants will experience 2D’s of Appreciative Inquiry’s 5D cycle

Design strategies to align organizational systems, processes and structure with the vision.

Deliver results by integrating Appreciative Inquiry into business processes

Learning Objectives Day 2

  • Use the SOAR framework to design strategies and deliver measurable results
  • Invite individual commitment in the strategic planning process
  • Identify success stories and key learning points for AI use in strategic planning
  • Discuss how to integrate all or part of AI into your organization’s planning