Presented by: Wendy Gain
Appreciative Inquiry is a strengths-based approach to change management. In an Australian project called Decision Assist – Palliative Care Linkages, 20 collaborative partnerships were formed to support dying elders through implementing one or more evidence-based linkage strategies. One of these partnerships was located in an aged care facility for Aboriginal elders, however the collaborating partners had a long and fractious history. Members of the local indigenous community were approached to contribute to identifying solutions to this discord. The unique concept of ‘community’ for Aboriginal Australians was a major consideration in the strengths-based approach to change for this partnership.
An Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator utilized this strengths-based approach to develop a shared vision for the community and service providers. Utilizing the five partnership principles of mutual benefit, equity, diversity, courage and openness, an agreed activity plan was developed for the partners to develop and deliver their shared vision. In doing so, the partners embedded the key principles into the partnership and resolved past discord in order to work more positively together. Appreciative Inquiry is a tool to move forward from a difficult past to a collaborative future.