On January 22, 2010, the College of Business Administration held an Appreciative Inquiry Summit on Curriculum in the Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing. Approximately 45 CBA faculty and staff and 7 CBA Advancement Council members participated in the event.
The Summit, titled Building Generation “A”, was facilitated by Sheri Schulte and Dave Shiner, of YRC Worldwide, Inc., who are both trained Appreciative Inquiry (AI) facilitators. They conducted the Summit using AI processes and group exercises.
AI is a methodology for accelerating organizational change. As stated by Dr. David Cooperrider of Case Western Reserve University, a cofounder of AI, “AI is a process that uses collaborative inquiry and strategic visioning to enable organizations, teams and individuals to unleash the human energy and imagination necessary to spark powerful innovations and radically transform their future…. Simply stated, it is taking what is best—the positive core—about an organization and applying it to new areas to accelerate change and enhance organizational performance. “
The change process used by AI is made up of four phases - Discover, Dream, Design, Deploy. Two phases (Discover and Dream) were incorporated into the CBA Summit.
The goal of the Summit was to begin the process of harnessing the positive energy and ideas of the college’s stakeholders (faculty, staff, and business community partners) to co-construct the CBA curriculum of the future. The outcome was a map of core positive values and aspirations of CBA stakeholders regarding guidelines for changes in the curriculum. The most common themes represented on the map were a desire for curriculum initiatives driven by collaboration and integration on multiple levels.
The next action steps will be for the ideas and aspirations expressed by the Summit participants to be disseminated to various CBA committees and administrative functions as input for future goals, actions, and implementation.
Many participants remarked that it had been a good, positive experience and one which they hoped would result in tangible changes that would leverage the competitive strengths of the CBA in the near future.