Organizational Issues, Wellness, Careers & Professional Development, leadership, facilitation, appreciative inquiry, powerful questions


Library and Information Science


Change management is often process-centered instead of people-centered. People are centered when we focus on what is good. Appreciative Inquiry’s strengths-based, positive approach to organizational change allows leaders and facilitators to re-center individuals’ voices.

Appreciative Inquiry helps people move toward a shared vision for the future by engaging others in considering what is good, what could be, what should be, and how to co-create the future. It can foster equitable processes that decenter whiteness and deficit-mindset. Powerful conversations connect thoughts and feelings, result in new ideas, develop new perspectives and understandings, and have an increased potential for action. Developing conversations where all are heard and hear others with respect and empathy is crucial to healthy, equitable organizations. The way conversations are facilitated can foster equity and enable participants by making space for inclusive dialogues. The questions we ask shape our exploration and our process. By developing generative questions, problems can be named while creative energy is refocused on what could be.

This session will focus on articulating questions that are aspirational and shift to thinking about what could be in order to co-create pathways for forward movement as well as highlighting some facilitation best practices for inclusive dialogues.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the importance of asking powerful questions in order to foster inclusive conversations
  • Learn to craft generative questions that seek to uncover what is good in order to hold space for all to hear and be heard while avoiding blame and shame
  • Understand and select facilitative practices to support group processes to create new shared understanding while empathetically listening to all voices through generous accountability


This presentation was given at the 2022 OLA Superconference in Canada.