If you seek to increase knowledge which road should you travel ? creative abrasion vs. appreciative inquiry or do they both lead to the same destination?
A clash of ideas helps to focus attention, forces us to take a hard look at validation, raises the energy level helping to break ingrained mental models. Strong critique is not for the faint-hearted, knowledge is so closely linked to our identity, it hurts to be wrong!
In its quietest form, writes Beth Agnew, creative abrasion is the catalyst for producing a
pearl. The oyster is so bothered by the unpleasant abrasive effect of
the sand inside its smooth shell, that it works on the sand to smooth
its rough edges and coat it with essence of pearl. The result? A
beautiful, valuable gem.
In its most energetic form, creative abrasion brings two teams, people, or ideas together like flint on steel. It creates sparks that ignite a wildfire of ideas or innovation. More
Finds and builds on the positive, seeking strength and re-framing discourse to praise rather than critique.
Appreciative Inquiry is based on the premise that from the moment of inquiry, the individual, team and organization experience a change. By using a strength-based approach, the social structure, whether it be a team or organization, moves in a positive direction accepting change guided by their initial input. More
For me creative abrasion is closely linked to deep dialog. Deep dialog is:
1) A spirit of genuine quest, when we add a goal, have an agenda, select members or impose time-frames, we surrender the freedom to explore.
2) Most of us use our energy to build and sustain our personal identity (a false image of ourselves!), we operate from unexamined, fixed and non-negotiable positions. The power of dialog brings these assumptions, positions and tacit beliefs into the open for examination.
3) The road to meaning is a rhetorical environment that encourages critique, rather than exploring and holding multiple views we most times rush to resolve them.
4) Discussion that holds value, is of necessity, messy, full of self-interest (advocacy) and always under tension. Insights do not emerge from logic, ordered sequence, rules or formal agreements, they are born at the edge of chaos.
5) Real-time discussion develops by addition and accretion rather than synthesis and categorization, reflection, interpretation and emergent meaning; it takes second place to maxims, truisms and repetition. Immediacy often reigns over reflection.
6) Deep dialog is not characterized by a specific method, technique, style or format; but is an attitude,an orientation that emphasizes meeting the needs of the participants.
7) Deep dialog is a rhetorical competency, it is the ability to argue, discuss, debate, confer for advice and exploration, it goes beyond gathering information and articulation of a position to enter the world of sharing. It involves a separation of ideas and identity and understanding of position as something other than personal opinion.
There is currently a discussion underway at the Virtual Chautauqua led by Carol Metzker please join us.