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Why SWOT When You Can SOAR?
November 17, 2023
Teachings come from everywhere when you open yourself to them. That’s the trick of it really, to open yourself to everything and everything opens itself to you.
-Richard Wagamese, 1955-2017, Embers: One Ojibway's Meditations

“What if every morning, you took a few minutes to think about what will bring you joy in the day ahead?” asks Ellen Drolette, in an Exchange article on appreciative inquiry.

According to David Copperrider, who originated the process and approach, “Appreciative inquiry turns the problem-solving habits of the field on their head, and shows that change is more powerful, energizing, and effective when we inquire into the true, the good, the better and the possible—everything that gives life to a system when is most alive and at its exceptional best.”

Cooperrider continues, “If we want to know how to create a high commitment work system we would be better off doing 100 interviews—a real study—of “high point moments” in people’s career in the organization, times when they were most committed and alive in their work and when they were going way beyond their job descriptions. So appreciative inquiry is about the discovery of life-generating strengths, and instead of SWOT [a matrix of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats], it is built on an analytic model called SOAR, that is, the systematic study of signature strengths, opportunities, aspirations, and results.

In her article, available as part of an Exchange Reflections, Drolette offers insights on appreciative inquiry as a more personal practice, noting, “Put simply, it is a way of tweaking your default, every day mindset, so that you pay more attention to the brightest moments.”

Take a few moments — for yourself or with your team — to practice appreciative inquiry with the latest Coffee Break Reflections on the Exchange Hub.


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