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The Thin Book of Appreciative Inquiry (3rd Edition)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  388 ratings  ·  34 reviews
This best-selling classic provides a great introduction on what appreciative inquiry is and how to apply it. Sue has updated the 3rd edition with the latest research and many new examples.

The Thin Thin Book of® Appreciative Inquiry is the introduction to the exciting organizational change philosophy called Appreciative Inquiry. Appreciative Inquiry is a way of thinking,
Kindle Edition, 58 pages
Published November 24th 2013 by Thin Book Publishing (first published 1996)
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Erica Mauter
Dec 04, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: maol
My chief takeaway from this book is that the words we use are so critical in shaping thoughts. Appreciative Inquiry is an established practice within the field of Organizational Development. This is a handy quick reference.
Sean O
Sep 27, 2016 rated it did not like it
I don't get these Appreciative Inquiry books. It's something that is better seen not read
This is a good intro to the techniques and theory behind Appreciative Inquiry, but f you are interested in this theory of change it will leave you wanting more.
Christina Despain
This book is an introduction to the concept of appreciative inquiry (a coaching tool/technique/strategy) which I read because I want to learn more effective ways of peer to peer (no position of power) coaching especially as it relates to the teaching profession; Ive known for a long time that this is a huge area of growth for me but didnt really know what to do about that until recently chatting with a friend who is a district coach and she recommended this book to me.
However, this book is so
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was amazing! I hope more people can read about AI and can apply it to their lives and at their workplace! We need a systems level change at work and this is what we need to bring to those spaces!
Maureen Koeppel
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I hope every business and church will look at this book and consider using this method.
Bridging Jones
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I seriously doubted such a thin little book could be so packed with valuable and thought-triggering insights!! Great quick read.
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was like reading the "Cliffs Notes" for a business consulting technique. I wish all business topics had such a Thin Book for quick reference to see if one wants to dive further into the topic.
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh. Quick read. Like the idea more than the book.
Jeff Lampson
This is a great hip pocket book to Appreciative Inquiry. It is an excellent concept that has it roots here in Ohio through Case Westerm Reserve University. I really value the heuristic nature of AI and this book was an excellent primer and resource. The core concept makes so much sense intuitively in every system something works and it can be build upon. It seems so much more powerful that remedial problem-solving on areas that are just weaknesses of a particular system. This process is a great ...more
Beth Ann Locke
Dec 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Beth Ann by: Janet Boguch
Shelves: business
This book was recommended to me by Janet Boguch (Seattle fundraising coach) at a conference I attended. The session was about change.

The theory behind appreciative inquiry is that rather than focusing on what is wrong with the organization as it now stands, we look to what the team has done well in the past and build on those strengths, knowing that we already possess what it takes to excel.

I used appreciative inquiry as part of a visioning process and it worked very well. I believe that
Feb 14, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
While a useful tool, I find this method is not the end all method that the book purports.
My biggest sticking point was the authors confusion of basic vocabulary and understanding of reality. One of her main assumption is "Reality is created in the moment, and there are multiple realities." Aside from a intense discussion on string theory, the author is obviously confusing reality with perception, and makes me question the thoroughness of the rest of her logic.
Ultimately, there was no big
Aug 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice summary and/or introduction to the ideas embodied in appreciative inquiry. Don't stop there, though, follow it up by reading something that goes more in depth. The central idea is that we spend too much energy and focus on our problems, when we ought to be looking at what we do well. Understanding that will enable us to do more of it, and quite possibly apply what we learn to those areas in which we are not doing so well. The "thin book" is easy to read, and presents complex ideas in a ...more
Teri Peterson
Jan 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: church
I appreciate that this is concise, specific, and in plain language.

Next up: are there similarly written books or other materials on using AI in churches? I don't need them to have long expositions of scripture or theological background (I can see that clearly enough myself)--I'm looking for an expansion of this process into the usual model of church systems.

And, in light of the book I finished earlier today: some sense of how a process like this can play out with a lot of introverts involved.
Christophe Addinquy
Jun 11, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Agile Coaches
Shelves: agile, coaching
Thin it is, but unfortunately a little bit frustrating also. Overall it's a more than decent introduction to this coaching technique. But if we want to be serious or serious practitioner, we'll need a more consistant material. This one is for you if you're guessing to go or not with appreciative inquiry.
Ma note de lecture en Français ici
Nov 24, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: how-to, madem, 2014
Had to read for DEM course 'Facilitation, Coordination and Decision Making in Multi-Stakeholder Environments.' If a corporate motivational speaker wrote a book on effecting change, this would be it. It has some good info that would be applicable to organisations with weak 'de-brief' culture. But for relatively healthy organisations, it's just another fancy process to integrate into change management.
Thin Books rule!
This is the second of this series I've read and I wish I hadn't taken a year over reading it! A simple - yet powerful guide to this new concept to me - of Appreciative Inquiry. The idea is to seek the positive experiences of an organisation rather than meditating and creating further negative thoughts. We do best when we feel good. Appreciate Inquiry
Dec 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Received recently from the PA PVAAS team. I'm familiar with the approach, but haven't read Hammond's summary previously. It starts off really clearly and in an inviting fashion. Looking forward to cruising through it (and letting it guide me back into a couple of other AI works on my shelf at home) as I return to the work world in the coming week!
Mar 03, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was quite focused on the corporate workplace. Was really looking for something more geared toward the non-profit sector, but I think most of what I read can be adapted. What little there was of it was clearly and succinctly written.
Jerry Jennings
This is a very clear description of basic of Appreciative Inquiry and wets an appetite to learn more about AI.
Read more at:
Dec 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jared got this for me for's been on my wishlist for a while. I'm so excited to read it. :-)

Love this little book. :-) I have already used it several times in various talks. Great intro to Appreciative Inquiry.
May 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
True to its name, this Thin Book gives a good overview to the philosophy and basic practice of Appreciative Inquiry. I found it both helpful and effective, and I plan to do some more in depth reading on this topic.
It's definitely a thin book, as advertised! It took me less than an hour to read it. It's an introduction to a thought process, Appreciative Inquiry, not a manual explaining it. Appreciative Inquiry is a way to approach change.
May 12, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Good news is this won't take much of your time.
Apr 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
simple, short but good idea relative to re-framing organizational issues.
Jul 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This, I enjoyed! 70 page gem that helped restore my faith in human scale business practice :)
Read it in the Kindke App on iPad but couldn't find that edition on Goodreads.
Leander Grogan
Aug 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
A very good business book for understanding team-building and how to treat employees. An evolutionary way of thinking.
Nov 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Want to read more by David Cooperrider now.
Jul 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
What I'd like most business books to be like precise and to the point. Change management not as a recipe, more as a way of being and doing. ...more
Cathy Allen
A whole book on how to listen for understanding? Yep! And the right questions to ask too!
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