Action Inquiry is a way of simultaneously conducting action and inquiry as a disciplined leadership practice that increases the wider effectiveness of our actions. Such action helps individuals, teams, organizations, and still larger institutions become more capable of self-transformation and thus more creative, more aware, more just, and more sustainable. In principle, no matter how much or little positional power you have, anyone in any family or organization can become more effectively and transformingly powerful by practicing action inquiry.
Action inquiry is not a set of prescriptions for behavior, which, when followed, invariably yield success. Indeed, action inquiry is not a process that can be followed in an imitative, mechanical way, learning a few ideas and imagining that parroting them back to others means that is doing action inquiry. Action inquiry is a way of learning anew, in the aliveness of each moment, how best to act now. The source of both its difficulty and potential is that action inquiry requires making ourselves, not just others, vulnerable to inquiry and to transformation.
According to Bill Torbert, Action Inquiry is about discovering the interaction between personal passion, compassion and dispassionate objectivity. These qualities can be developed simultaneously:
- 1st person (‘I’) integrity and passion can be developed through understanding and acting in alignment with your values,
- 2nd person (‘We’) mutuality and compassion can be developed by creating a shared vision and acting in collaboration with your team,
- 3rd person (‘It’) dispassionate objective and sustainability and can be developed by taking a very broad perspective and seeking to influence culture towards maximizing happiness within ecological constraints.
Action inquiry is a lifelong process of transformational learning that individuals, teams, and whole organizations can undertake if they wish to become: • Increasingly capable of making future visions come true • Increasingly alert to the dangers and opportunities of the present moment • Increasingly capable of performing in effective and transformational ways
Surprisingly, action inquiry is a virtually unknown process… perhaps because learning how to practice it from moment-to-moment is no easy trick. Action inquiry is not a process that can be followed in an imitative, mechanical way, learning a few ideas and imagining that parroting them back to others occasionally means one is doing action inquiry. Rather, action inquiry is a way of learning anew, in the aliveness of each moment, how best to act now. The source of both its difficulty and its potential is that action inquiry requires making ourselves, not just others, vulnerable to inquiry and to transformation. The rewards of action inquiry are a profound sense of growth in personal integrity, in interpersonal mutuality, and in organizational and environmental sustainability.
- The Promise and the Power of Action Inquiry BK Connection
- The Practice of Action Inquiry Charles J. Palus & David Magellan Horth & Steadman Harrison III
- Developing as a Leader, through Action Inquiry We Are Rising
- What is Action Inquiry William R Torbert
- Timely Leadership Through Action Inquiry Kali Saposnick
- Action Inquiry and Dialogue Cook-Greuter
- The Promise and Power of Action Inquiry Bill Torbet and Assoc
- Using Action Inquiry to Address Critical Challenges Edward P. St. John, Jeffrey S. McKinney, Tina Tuttle