[from book part 4 – SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIONISM]


When explaining social construction as an introduction to an Appreciative Inquiry experience, I often use the following ‘sentence’ by turning over five flip charts, saying:

CO-OPERATE

I’D RATHER

STOP WITH IT RIGHT NOW

THOSE ENDLESS DISCUSSIONS

I WANT TO GET RID OF IT

 

People in many organizations recognize this. And because it’s just a matter of turning back the pages I always find great pleasure in reading the sentence ‘upwards’, only to be encountered by smiling faces. A surprising alternative emerges:

I WANT TO GET RID OF IT

THOSE ENDLESS DISCUSSIONS

STOP WITH IT RIGHT NOW

I’D RATHER

CO-OPERATE

 

So with the exact the same words, we can encourage a complete turnaround! How about that?

Let me tell you about a devastating turnaround of words: it’s called “non-profit organizations”.

It took me fifty years and an encounter with the Flemish AI network to find out that our economy does not consist of ‘profit organizations’ and ‘non-profit organizations’. Why should we call a huge group of organizations – such as schools, hospitals and local councils – ‘non-profit organizations’? (We don’t place a human being in the category ‘non-dog’, do we?)

Is the best they can do ‘not getting any profit’? On the contrary, they do produce profit! They produce education, healthcare and subsequently support our society profits. Educated children, healthy people and active citizens are worthwhile results, won’t you agree? These organizations produce significant Social Profit!

So, we have profit organizations and social profit organizations.

Perhaps working within a social profit organization might be a more positive experience. And please remind your accountant that it’s not ‘non-profit’ he or she should be aiming at; the ‘balanced scorecard’ should be better focused on the social outputs and outcomes of the company.

If you are writing a story, do you prefer to write against a deadline or towards a ‘birth line’?

Do you know of any words that – after further inspection – are quite negative, and ask for a constructive alternative formulation?

 


You’ve just read one of the 100 chapters of my book Appreciative Inquiries of the 3.0 Kind. Find out more (and a special pre-ordering offer) on www.appreciativeinquiries.eu

By | 2015-05-27T00:50:47+00:00 mei 27th, 2015|Categories: AI30|0 Comments