Appreciative Inquiry for Expanding Opportunities in Crises

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Lumbini Bikas Bank Limited is one of the reputed and established development banks in Nepal. It has 90 branches all over the country. Appreciative Inquiry was introduced in this bank on 3rd August 2023 by conducting one-day training for the 105 Branch Managers and senior management team including the chairperson and CEO. Dr. RC Lamichhane, CEO of the Eastern Research Institute of Positive Science (ERIPS) and the certified trainer of the Appreciative Inquiry Approach has conducted the training. The program was conducted in Dhulikhel Lodge and Resort. The participants found that the program was more than the expectation as it was live, engaging, innovative, and inclusive.

The participants found that the Appreciative Inquiry Approach is the most valuable approach for their bank to promote positive change and enhance its impact. The reflection of the participants was as follow;

1. It helped to shift the focus: Appreciative Inquiry allowed the bank to move away from problem-focused approaches and instead focus on identifying and amplifying strengths and successes. By searching for what is working well and discovering the best practices, banks can build on existing positive cores and strategies to create effective plans.

2. Engagement of Stakeholders: AI involves engaging a whole system or a wide range of stakeholders including board members, staff, beneficiaries, communities, government officials, and other relevant stakeholders. By involving all stakeholders, the bank can ensure that diverse perspectives are considered and that the voices of those directly affected by their project are heard. This inclusivity helps to build trust, enhance collaboration, and generate innovative ideas.

4. Building capacity and learning: Through the AI process, banks can facilitate capacity building and foster a learning culture within their organization. AI encourages reflection, learning from past successes, and the identification of innovative solutions. This helps the bank to continuously improve its practices, adapt to changing circumstances, and enhance its impact on development.

5. Collaboration and Partnership: AI promotes collaboration and partnership building. By engaging stakeholders through AI, banks can identify and leverage existing resources, expertise, and networks. This collaborative approach allows development banks to establish partnerships with other organizations, governments, and communities to address development challenges more effectively together.

3. Creating Shared Vision and Goals: AI encourages the development of a shared vision and goals. By involving diverse stakeholders in the process of defining a shared vision for development, the bank can create a sense of ownership and alignment among all involved. This shared vision can guide decision-making, project implementation, and resource allocation, ultimately leading to more effective and sustainable development outcomes.

6. Positive Organizational Culture: AI promotes a positive organizational culture built on trust, inclusivity, and empowerment. By focusing on strengths, AI encourages a more optimistic and forward-thinking mindset among bank staff. This positive culture can enhance employee motivation, creativity, and commitment to achieving developmental goals.

In summary, Appreciative Inquiry offers a valuable approach for the bank to enhance its impact by focusing on strengths, engaging stakeholders, creating shared vision and goals, building capacity, fostering collaboration, and cultivating a positive organizational culture. By adopting AI principles and practices, banks can promote positive change and contribute to sustainable development outcomes.

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