Appreciative Inquiry, Quality Improvement, and SOAR

Paper is to be completed before Sunday September 2, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. A perspective that notices an educational institution’s strengths before its weaknesses and focuses attention on improvement rather than remediation offers something of a new look in organizational development and change. A theoretical approach to strategic planning called strengths, opportunities, aspirations, and results (SOAR), which you will continue to study in later courses, reflects an affirmative perspective that focuses an organization on its current strengths and vision of the future for developing its strategic goals. With SOAR, the focus of planning is on enhancing what is currently done well, rather than concentrating on perceived threats or weaknesses. This assignment offers you the opportunity to consider how you can apply the affirming principles embedded in the quality improvement emphasis in education, the SOAR approach to strategic planning, and the AI research strategy to your own organization in order to bring about improvement in the processes that lead to efficient and effective performance. In carrying out the assignment, you will begin thinking about an organizational improvement project that could eventually evolve into your doctoral capstone. For this assignment, complete the following: • Review this unit’s studies for material on AQIP, the Baldrige Quality award, and SOAR. Feel free to search out other sources to extend and enhance your understanding. • Review what you learned about yourself from the Appreciative Inquiry Index media piece, linked in Resources, and the second discussion in this unit. • Select one organizational process (for example, faculty, finance, human resources, student services) that you have been considering as a possible topic area for your doctoral capstone. Note: You are not expected to have a well-developed idea of this as yet, so relax and enjoy brainstorming ideas. • Write a paper about that process that has two parts. o Begin with one or two pages describing what is good, strong, important, and successful about the organizational process you have selected. Note: If you found yourself thinking of a process at your institution that was in trouble, stop! Beginning with the negative is not a part of AI. o Conclude with one or two pages describing ways in which you believe the process can be improved. • Review the draft to assure that nothing in it can be construed as negative.

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