Appreciative Inquiry - 2017

Thank you to the participants of the CWRU sponsored Appreciative Inquiry Project.  I hope that you enjoyed it as much as the student facilitators.  Please see below for the summary for the alumni.

The Gestalt Institute of Cleveland was chosen to be part of an Appreciative Inquiry Project at Case Western Reserve University.  Appreciative Inquiry is the cooperative search for the best in people, their organizations, and the world around them.  It involves systemic discovery of what gives a system ‘life’ when it is most effective and capable in economic, ecological, and human terms.  AI involves the art and practice of asking questions that strengthen a system’s capacity to heighten positive potential. It mobilizes inquiry through crafting an ‘unconditional positive question’. AI can be used to co-create the transformative processes and practices appropriate to the culture of a particular organization and recognizes that human systems are constructions of the imagination and are, therefore, capable of change at the speed of imagination. Once organization members shift their perspective, they can begin to invent their most desired future.

Six students came on January 26 to interview 28 alumni of GIC programs.   As an institute we are listening and want to hear what you have to say.  Participants were entered into a $100 raffle good toward any Gestalt Institute of Cleveland training program or workshop.  The winner of that raffle was Dawn Glasco.

The CWRU student team was very appreciative for the opportunity to actively participate in the initial stages of the Appreciative Inquiry process. They thoroughly enjoyed speaking with staff, current students and alumni, all of whom were eager to connect and become involved with the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland in a variety of ways.

Their closing statement to us was:

“We believe in the Gestalt philosophy and are interested in what the Institute offers individuals, communities and nations. “

The two “possibility statements” they left us with are:

Possibility Statement I

Gestalt understands that to truly be whole

 we must open ourselves to all of the beautiful ways that

wholeness manifests. To consistently remain on the

cutting edge, Gestalt fosters relationships with

individuals, students, organizations, alumni, and the

community to consistently evolve; reflecting the world

in which we live.  With our strategic scope, and intentional

recruitment of diverse candidates, faculty and clientele, we

represent people of different races, ethnicities,

nationalities, age, sexual orientation, gender identity,

socioeconomic status and physical/mental ability.

Each person brings their unique experiences to

Gestalt, and as a result maintain a fluid space for

knowledge construction where every person on every

level from staff to student contributes to the learning.

Gestalt reaches up to higher education institutions,

reaches out to Greater Cleveland and the world,

reaches inward to build a beloved community,

reaches across to nurture and recruit untapped talent,

and reaches down to uplift underserved populations.

Possibility Statement II

At Gestalt, our learning is ongoing and the

membership is everlasting. We are a sustained

institution where everyone who graduates from a

single or multitude of programs sees themselves and

others with an appreciative and accepting

perspective. This engagement is achieved through

established networking, enhanced communication

vehicles and a variety of engagement programs that

encourage thriving relationships for years to come.

Relational communication within and amongst

networks, both face to face and virtually, leverages

the possibility of connecting with people and causes

that can be positively impacted by the Gestalt

network of thought leaders, change agents and those

with the vision to stay connected and serve.

We are planning to do a similar project with the faculty and board.  Those results will be shared at Organization Summit in May.

Please make comments and/or send feedback about the summary!  It turns out; we gratefully have a very engaged alumni group!  So please continue the engagement by responding to the summary or by taking it a step further and just saying something you would like to do...or not.

Thank you,

Lisa S. Roth, Chair