This week’s reading assignment and activity did very little toward changing my mind about the usefulness of Appreciative Inquiry. The comparison between evaluator competencies and AI was most intriguing in that I discovered that there was a lot of overlap between the two. Which leads me to wonder: if these competencies are generally agreed upon as a list of necessary requirements for a successful evaluation, and Appreciative Inquiry shares many of these qualities, doesn’t it naturally follow that AI results in a successful evaluation? I think it may be an overgeneralization to make the blanket statement that AI is the end-all solution for conducting a competent and successful evaluation, but I would also contend that it’s hard to ignore just how many of those competencies AI does incorporate in some way.
One other item of note about AI is that it has caused me to re-examine much of how things are done at my work–from the simplest interactions all the way to department-wide policies. It’s far too early–and I have far too little clout–to apply AI methods in any practical or effective way as of yet. But I think that the very fact that it has got me thinking at all, and that it has caused me to try to approach problems at work from a more positive perspective, is definitely progress.