The Integration of Appreciative Inquiry and Experiential Learning for Peak Performance Appreciative Inquiry Case Story: New York City Leadership Challenge


  • Miriam Ricketts
  • Jim Willis


This paper illustrates how an integrated Appreciative Inquiry, AI, and Experiential Learning, EL, approach within a micro-world learning environment accelerates positive change, motivates teams and individuals, generates buy-in and engages people at all levels. By sharing and learning from experience, people attain the high levels of rapport, empathy, trust and mutual understanding necessary to risk and embrace change together. When integrated into each stage of an Appreciative Inquiry, Experiential Learning supports and illuminates the AI process, making AI "come alive" for all stakeholders. When designed into an AI process, experiential learning allows participants to actually experience "the best of what exist" (Discovery), creates opportunities for organizational "peak experiences" (Dream), provides opportunities to experience, practice and refine provocative propositions (Design), and builds critical mass as change is cascaded throughout the community (Destiny).