Explore the Possible

Explore the Possible

Our explorations of how to achieve project outcomes are grounded in the organizational theory concepts of Whole Systems Thinking and Appreciative Inquiry.

Whole Systems Thinking

We view organizations as systems consisting of a network of people, structures, and processes that operate in concert to achieve the mission. We collaborate with our clients to explore all pieces that comprise the whole, observing interrelationships and patterns of behavior. A key component of exploration is considering the impacted stakeholders and how they can be engaged throughout the effort to foster support and buy-in across the organization.

Appreciative Inquiry

During the exploration phase of projects, we ask our clients to focus on what is possible, not what’s broken or inhibiting performance. Our experience shows that this approach leads to a greater understanding of the organization’s strengths, and ultimately, the identification of opportunities with the largest impact.

In order to reach alignment on the outcomes, we facilitate meetings with the project sponsors, points of contact, and/or working groups. We also use these meetings to identify opportunities to learn more and test some of the underlying assumptions about the challenges to address.

We then test the preliminary outcomes and underlying assumptions by taking the time to conduct discovery research. We apply a variety of social science data methods to complete this research based on the nature of the project. These methods can include interviews, focus groups, individual and team assessments, surveys, and literature reviews. Our clients engage in the discovery process by identifying the best sources of information and helping to craft research questions.

By working together to explore the possible and define clear outcomes for each engagement, we start building support for the change associated with the overall project. This moves our clients away from “my solution vs. your solution” to “our solution.”

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