“We Change Best When We Are Strongest”

David Cooperrider is teaching an important course at Case Western Reserve University. As part of the school’s continuing education program, The New Change Equation: The 10 Most Powerful Change Management Tools offers an influential experience to help leaders bring out the best in human systems, rapidly and naturally. In The New Change Equation, David asserts, “We change best when we are strongest.” A key indicator of a company’s strength is the level of engagement of its employees.

David is a faculty director at the Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. But he is perhaps best known as the author of Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Revolution in Change.

Then Secretary General of the United Nations, Nobel Laureate Kofi Annan, called upon David as an advisor and used appreciative inquiry to bring over 500 CEOs into a world summit at the UN. He shared, “Without your methodology of Appreciative Inquiry, it would have been very difficult, perhaps even impossible, to constructively engage so many leaders of business, civil society, and government.”

A UN leaders report for the Global Compact’s 8,000 corporations said, “Appreciative Inquiry is the best large group method in the world today.”

In our work at Being Chief, we have similarly focused on the conditions required to establish change-adaptive cultures as a prerequisite to create sustainable growth. Companies can only achieve sustainable growth when employees achieve it too.

The key is to help Chiefs at all levels to be fully engaged in their work, which will unlock their power. At their strongest, they will then be ready for change.