It might sound flaky, but it's proving to be one of the most effective approaches to mobilizing people ever discovered. Even better: people enjoy the process.
Instead of thinking of organizations as problems to be solved, AI looks at organizations as evolving, living systems to be embraced.
Instead of looking for "the answer", AI looks for powerful questions to ask. When people start asking powerful questions, powerful new directions and ideas start to emerge.
AI is part of a growing body of knowledge called Positive Organization Scholarship (POS).
If you're going to be in the Toronto area on September 14, you can attend a day-long session with David Cooperider, best known as the originator of much of AI theory and process. Check out the attached PDF for details. Download david_cooperrider.pdf
(Disclosure: we are not a sponsor, just planning to attend, and the price is right. Don't miss this opportunity to meet some great people, learn some new things, and get charged up)
To find out more about Appreciative Inquiry, the AI Commons is a good place to start, as it contains quite a few free resources, case studies, and tools.
The Ross School of Management at U Michigan maintains a knowledge base on Positive Organization Scholarship, which will give you a better perspective of the number of people working in this field, as well as some excellent resource lists and introductory reading.
These are some of the best tools I know of to get those transformational improvements in customer experience that I know of. It's not about HR -- it's about the people who are on the front lines.