A Letter from the Editor
I lost my partner in editing this book because Jackie Stavros, my co-editor, joined with Cheri Torres in writing Dynamic Relationships: Unleashing the Power of Appreciative Inquiry in Daily Life. She took on the role of co-author while I, with the support of Kenneth Gergen, Harlene Anderson, and Dawn Dole, was the editor of this most fascinating and powerful Focus Book. I see this book as a new area for the Focus Book Series of the Taos Institute Publishing. Past writings in the series have focused on change in groups, organizations, and even whole cities.
The Focus Book Series, based in social construction, suggests that it is important for us to pay attention to “how we are in relation with one another,” because this very thing significantly influences what we create and experience together as shared reality. Thus, Dynamic Relationships offers an opportunity to look inside personal relationships as significant to social construction. I acknowledge this book may be a challenge. I ask you to try it. Take time for cycles of reflection and action. Experience what they say and how they feel. Indulge in reading the book. You will also learn from their offering of deeper explanations around the Principles of Appreciative Inquiry (AI)—and learn of the Principle of Awareness as key to living the essence of the Constructive, Simultaneity, Poetic, Anticipatory, and Positive Principles. The principles described in this book also apply to leading change efforts with individuals, with teams, or across divisions, organizations, and communities.
AI has been traditionally used for organizational innovation and cultural transformation. The book was originally intended for those readers who want to sustain AI within their organizations and extend and elevate AI beyond organizational life. This includes learners in undergraduate and graduate courses in leadership, organization development, organizational behavior, organizational change, and collaborative learning. The second audience includes those who are new to the AI concept; yet believe in the power of dynamic relationships as key to enriching and balancing personal and work life.
You will see that Dynamic Relationships is focused on indi-viduals-in-relationship with others. It offers ways and means, through the “Let’s Put It to Work” sections, to help you to develop habits of thought and action that support your quest for positive relationships. The book calls for a shift to creative and innovative thinking and being, made possible through living in positive relationship with others. It uses the AI philosophy and approach to focus on possibilities, inspire creative thinking, reach for aspirations, connect with your strengths and opportunities, and tap your thinking capacity based on expanded relationships in both your personal and work life. I encourage you to become partners with Jackie and Cheri in using AI to live in dynamic relationship with those who are meaningful in your life. I did!
Sincerely, Jane Seiling, Senior Editor The Taos Institute Focus Book Series