AP model for working with teams and boards

Liverpool John Moores University called AP in to its Centre for Entrepreneurship to help it increase team working, and work together to plan future direction. We used our model for working with teams and boards, which is based on Appreciative Inquiry and whole system techniques, including Open Space (OST) and World Café.

We recommended a step-by-step programme, which includes:

  1. An initial scoping meeting which defined the project’s focus, work programme, timetable and outcomes
  2. A planning meeting with key staff to agree content of appreciative interview interviews
  3. Appreciative interviews with all staff/board members and small number of clients/stakeholders
  4. A written and verbal summary of the interviews for the client, used to design away day content
  5. Facilitation of one or two away days – the first to discover ‘what works’ and to vision the way forward; and second to focus on design and delivery
  6. Work with senior staff to finalise action plans and review requirements. This also includes a review team meeting three months after the project to monitor progress


A strength-based approach with LJMU had a number of outcomes and benefits, including:

  • The opportunity to engage a whole system
  • It ensured everyone’s views were heard, and contributed to the whole
  • Actions that emerged demonstrated creativity and the opportunity to co-design, so solutions are ‘owned’ by the participants
  • It supports creativity and innovative ideas, drawing on all parts of the organisation

Tim Slack, AP director (centre), is pictured above at the Graduate Entrepreneur’s Award Ceremony, with Chris Maguire (right) from NW Business Insider and Alan Woods, of Wood Squared, JMU’s Inspirational Business Person of the Year, which Appreciating People sponsored following our work with them.

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