The Genius of Inclusion

Adapted from Appreciative Leadership:
Focus on What Works to Drive Winning Performance and Build a Thriving Organization
Diana Whitney, Amanda Trosten-Bloom and Kae Rader

Inclusion—consciously engaging with people to co-create the future—is a foundational strategy for Appreciative Leadership, and an indispensable practice for unleashing the positive power of today’s multicultural, multigenerational, and multitalented workforce. Realities are crafted in relationship, through conversations and collaborations. In order for decisions and plans for the future to satisfy and serve diverse groups of people, all the people whose future it is must be invited into relationship and included in dialogue and decision-making.

The strategy of Inclusion calls us to actively invite diverse groups of people – with equally diverse thoughts, feelings and experiences – to coauthor their future in teams, departments and whole organizations.  Since multiple ways of seeing stretch people’s thinking, Inclusion inspires innovation.  And since people commit to what they create, this strategy fosters broad and deep commitment to shared visions, goals and paths forward.

Recognizing that Inclusion begins with them selves, appreciative leaders allow themselves to think broadly, feel deeply and regularly seek out multiple perspectives.  They issue the invitation to a wide range of stakeholders, in a manner that fosters new relationships and conversations and empowers people to contribute their best in service of shared goals.  Using large group processes like the Appreciative Inquiry Summit, they take Inclusion to scale, engaging hundreds or thousands of people in conversations that accelerate positive change and get results.