I sometimes wonder about those who enter the Appreciative Inquiry gate and where they will end up. Will the first path of their journey lead them to the:
- Band Aid Gate – where a quick fix mindset develops, which usually leads to the ‘it doesn’t work’ comment.
- Mechanics Gate – where AI is used as a ‘tool’ and is usually left in the tool box when the next ‘you beaut’ concept comes along. Sometimes the mechanics lament ‘we’ve already tried that’.
- Spiritual Gate – where the principles and values of AI are lived by the individual and the change process becomes a truly transformational change.
The first two gates usually lead to short easy trips, but the third gate (Spiritual) leads to a life long journey that enriches one’s life and affects others in a profound way.
There is hope for the band aiders and mechanics – all they have to do is change direction and head towards the spiritual gate. Once they enter and walk past the welcome sign, the Chi will liberate them from their previous fixed concepts of AI.
And then they will become true Appreciative Inquiry practitioners.