Saturday, 21 May 2011

Models for moving forward

I thought that when I started writing this blog that it would be easy to identify theories of community development and mould them for our purposes. I should have known better having worked around community development for many years and being confounded by the lack of theory - I thought that it was just us.

Anyway there are certainly organisational theories and some interesting insights into how to develop. One of these is Appreciative Inquiry which has been used in the US with the Unitarian Universalist Association and some of their churches. In some ways Appreciative Inquiry is similar to Solutions Focused approaches which I have mentioned in July last year.

Here are the Assumptions of Appreciative Inquiry from a presentation at the Florida UUA District:
  1. In every congregation, some things work well.
  2. What we focus on becomes our reality.
  3. Asking positive questions influences the group for the better.
  4. People are more willing to journey toward the future when they know they can keep the best of what is past.
  5. There is no need for detailed analysis of problems.
Solutions Focused approaches would say - find out what you do well/what went well and do more of it/do it again. These positive approaches I think suit Unitarians very well.

I will leave you with these thoughts as I spend some time thinking about how these approaches could be used by our communities.

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