Convincing Stories in Flanders

In the preconference, David Cooperrider explained vividly the art of asking questions. His statement is that inquiry can change the world and presented very surprisingly two examples of organizations that had the courage to experiment with Appreciative Inquiry: a group of schools in Hasselt (B) and a pharmaceutical company in Geel (B).

Both cases show remarkable positive results. They see an increase of motivation and fall of absenteeism amongst the employees. The employees feel more connection with the organisation they work in. More innovation emerges andpeople feel proud to be part of an organisation that innovates the ways to relate with people, connecting with society, and connecting to the wave of change our society needs to day.

In the story of the schools, the director Ronny Vanderspikken said: “There are no week or deficient children. We have to change our look in order to see the talent in every child. We have to create opportunities for either children and adults to develop their strengths. Then thy can flourish and making a personal contributing to their surrounding.

The case of Genzyme learned us the importance to change conversations and introduce appreciative questioning. HR-director Wim Croonen testifies: “Were up to 30% of change efforts becomes a failure, introducing AI was successful. The Genzyme plant in Geel made it to a corronation of ‘Great place to work in 2010 and 2012.

The sessions of his morning are convincing: AI will generate change, also in Flanders, the kind of change we urgently need.

Jac De Bruyn
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