Being Appreciative: Improving school governance through an appreciative lens

About 15 years ago, I was introduced to the concept of Appreciative Inquiry as a different approach to problem solving. At the time, I was working in Strategic Partnership Development in a Local Authority and, whilst this was an exciting development area, there were certainly many challenges to overcome with deeply entrenched inequalities.

Appreciative Inquiry was different. It brought light to often dark conversations, and it facilitated growth of the good things instead of putting a plaster on issues and problems.

I was hooked and, over time, this approach has been embedded within me.

I’m a glass half-full type of person not half-empty!

These days I try to build this appreciative philosophy into all of my work. Ok, it’s not always been easy - as we tend to be a ‘problem-focused’ society, but there is definitely something in being solution focused.

All of my work takes this appreciative approach. Growing people’s skills and confidence to govern more effectively. The values of my company reflect this, in fact so does its name - Insight to Impact - using people’s insight to make an impact and a difference.

Appreciative Inquiry is well known in the community development world, but less so in the world of governance and challenge - they almost seem poles apart! Can you challenge appreciatively?

School Governors are increasingly having to make difficult and challenging decisions, and I wanted to take the concept of Being Appreciative and apply it to School Governance - to see if it could make their role in improving outcomes for children easier.

I wanted to share our findings with you, so, I have pulled together a quick guide to Being Appreciative, which looks at how appreciative approaches could improve the understanding of governors and the impact of their decisions.

Is your governance half-empty or half-full?

Visit our website for your free copy.


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