"Appreciative Inquiry is rooted in the values of the emerging paradigm. In this mode, organizations create and move towards the vision of the desired future in harmony with the world view that sees the interconnectedness of all parts of the system; that accepts the complexity and subjectivity of the world; that knows that planning to be a continuous and iterative process; that embraces the concept of many truths and multiple ways to reach a goal; that understands the relational nature of the world; that believes information to be the primal creative force; and that knows language to be the creator of “reality.” In other words, the Newtonian paradigm process of dividing things into parts, believing that there is one best way of doing any action, and assuming that language describes some ultimate truth for which we all search creates a way of solving problems that looks backwards to what went “wrong” and tries to “fix” it. Appreciative Inquiry, on the other hand, looks for what is going “right” and moves towards it, understanding that in the forward movement towards the ideal the greatest value comes from embracing what works."

Jane Magruder Watkins and Bernard J. Mohr, Appreciative Inquiry: Change at the Speed of Imagination. (San Francisco: Jossey- Bass/Pfeiffer, A Wiley Company, 2001), 11 

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