Rethinking How We Solve Problems By Using “Appreciative Inquiry” with David Cooperrider (Episode #67)

David L. Cooperrider has proved that it’s in finding strengths that we render weaknesses irrelevant. David is said to be a giant of generosity and discovery as well as one of the most outstanding scholars of our generation! I can’t think of anyone better to teach us how we can rethink solving the problems by using Appreciative Inquiry.

David Cooperrider is the Professor of Appreciative Inquiry at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University. He serves as faculty Director of the Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit.

He is best known for his pioneering theory on ‘Appreciative Inquiry’ and has served as advisor to senior executives in business and societal leadership roles, including projects with Nobel Laureates such as William Jefferson Clinton, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and Kofi Annan.

In 2017 David received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the OD Network. He has also served as strategic advisor to a wide variety of organizations including Apple, Verizon, Johnson & Johnson, Wal-Mart as well as American Red Cross, and the American Hospital Association.

Resources Mentioned:




Connect with David on LinkedIn and Facebook. Be sure to visit and strengthen your Appreciative Inquiry! 

[00:01 – 7:03] Opening Segment
  • I introduce David Cooperrider
    • Bio 
  • David shares a bit about himself 
[07:04 – 26:50] Rethinking How We Solve Problems By Using “Appreciative Inquiry”
  • David give us an intro to the definition of Appreciative Inquiry 
    • We become what we ask questions about
    • The WAY we ask questions as a focus
    • A strength based approach using curiosity 
    • “The task of leadership is to create an alignment of strengths in ways that make a system’s weaknesses irrelevant.” – Peter F. Drucker
      • AI is a tool to accomplish this 
    • The power of wholeness in human systems 
      • How it applies to companies and organizations
    • AI derives from ‘design thinking’ 
    • We need designed democracy not just dialogue
  • How AI can apply to your own professional lives and organizations
    • Taking away the impulse of focusing on weaknesses
      • Capitalize on strength 
    • Organizations are not problems to be solved
      • They are miracles of human relationship 
      • An opportunity to connect to humanity 
      • They are universes of strengths filled with imagination 
    • Not “what’s wrong,” but “What gives life?” 
    • AI reveals infinite potential 
    • The example of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
      • Using AI to bring the whole organization together
      • Market value of over $24B
      • Helped create the “Fair Trade Movement”
    • How AI is being used to create peace across the world 
[26:51 –  48:15] Appreciative Inquiry in Our Own Lives
  • Challenging “The Deficit Based Theory of Change”
    • People don’t fundamentally resist change 
      • We are hardwired for joy through growth 
    • Think of your high-point moments of coming together 
    • The Continuity Question: what are the most important qualities you need to keep
    • We are more open to disruption when we know the values will sustain
    • Give good wings to the truth of stories 
  • Uniting together under appreciative inquiry 
    • You don’t need to solve the earth’s problems 
    • We need to connect 
    • Our core task is to discover our purpose and live it out 
    • Seeing things that no one else can see: Appreciative Intelligence
    • Wake up your appreciative eye
  • Bring out the best in humanity and amplify our future on The Goodness Exchange
    • More information on how you can join in below
[48:16 –  59:53] Putting AI into Action
  • David talks about what to do next with this information 
    • The rising of the science of positivity
    • Positive emotions reverse past patterns of negativity 
    • Positivity is like an “undo” button 
    • We can’t allow the planet to fail 
    • Business is a force for positive change
    • Innovation in leadership is growing exponentially
[59:54 – 1:05:41] Closing Segment
  • How to connect with David and his work
    • Links below 
  • Final announcements 

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