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This tends to be helpful when reviewing results of engagement surveys and employee focus groups. Identify the good things that employees appreciate and do more of those. Focusing on the good things is also more positive for executives than having a bunch of bad things laid out in front of them. Presenting all the bad news is a downer and makes it seem like things are so bad the company can't ever dig itself out of the hole.

Thanks for the great reminder Ann. Too often companies "throw out the baby with the bath water." In an attempt to fix something bad, they destroy something good.

Jacque and Dan:

Thanks - good points. And while an overall mindset of positive focus has its strengths in any part of our work within an organization - what my colleague reminded me about is the fact that beginning in that way can help overcome many of the obstacles and resistance to discovery that keep many of us "locked out". It is particularly in that spirit that I shared this info.

Appreciative Inquiry is a very powerful approach that has multiple applications for developing (improving) organizational cultures. Think performance evaluations, communication strategies, development plans, and, of course, compensation design.

Simply focusing on the good stuff reduces the bad stuff over time. Isn't that what everybody is striving for?


It sure is! And while (I think) there is surely bad stuff out there that is sufficiently bad as to require a more direct intervention, I think we do overlook the value of what a positive focus can accomplish for us!

Interesting that one of the tweets of this post noted that Compensation and Appreciative Inquiry make "strange bedfellows". To the extent that this is true, it is probably not to our credit, eh?

Thanks for the comment!

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