Sunday, November 30, 2008

Resources on Strengths Based Approaches

Resources on Strengths Based Approaches compiled for Azenet and SLHI Consultant Community Meeting on November 18, 2008.

Our definition of Strengths Based Approaches: Strengths based approaches focus on the identification and development of the strengths of an individual, organization, community, and system. Strengths based approaches start with what is working, where you are strong, successful, and passionate. They are based on and align with the research on resiliency, positive psychology, asset based thinking, and whole system methods.

Our definition of Whole System Methods: Whole system methods such as Appreciative Inquiry and Open Space Technology engage people from all parts of a system in creating change. They help you initiate high leverage, sustainable, and transformational positive change in organizations, partnerships, communities, and systems by tapping into the collective intelligence.

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) Resources
• Power of Appreciative Inquiry by Diana Whitney and Amanda Trosten-Bloom
• Appreciative Coaching by Sara Orem, Jacqueline Binkert, Ann Clancy
• The Appreciative Inquiry Summit A Practitioner’s Guide for Leading Large-Group Change by James D. Ludema, Diana Whitney, Bernard J. Mohr, and Thomas J. Griffin

AI books with good appreciative questions
• Appreciative Teambuilding by Diana Whitney & Amanda Trosten-Bloom, Jay Cherney and Ron Fry
• The Encyclopedia of Positive Questions Diana Whitney, David Cooperrider, Amanda Trosten-Bloom, and Brian Kaplin

• Reframing Evaluation through Appreciative Inquiry by Hallie Preskill and Tessie Tzavaras Catsambas
• Information Gold Mine: Innovative Uses of Evaluation by Paul Mattessich

Other Resources on Strength Based Approaches
• Change the Way You See Everything Through Asset-Based Thinking by Kathryn D. Cramer Ph.D and Hank Wasiak
• Change the Way You See Yourself Through Asset-Based Thinking by Kathryn D. Cramer Ph.D and Hank Wasiak
• Open Space Technology A Users Manual by Harrison Owen
• The Soul of Money by Lynn Twist *
• Strengthsfinders 2.0 by Tom Rath
• The Power of Asset Mapping: How Your Congregation Can Act on Its Gifts by Luther K. Snow
• The World Cafe: Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter by Juanita Brown, David Isaacs and the World Cafe Community,
• Learned Optimism and Authentic Happiness by Martin E. P. Seligman PhD
• Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits by Leslie R. Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant
• Transitions and Transition Management by William Bridges
• The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom by Jonathan Haidt
• How The Way We Talk Can Change The Way We Work: Seven Languages for Transformation by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey
• Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in theWorld Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming by Paul Hawken
• The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations by Ori Brafman and rod A. Beckstrom
• Health in a New Key and Weave the People – available at

Resources on the New Sciences
• The Biology of Belief by Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D.
• The Philosopher’s Stone by F. David Peat
• Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World by Margaret J. Wheatley
• Linked: How Everything is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means for Business, Science, and Everyday Life by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi.
• The Neuroscience of Leadership by David Rock (article)
• Strategic Thinking and the New Science by T. Irene Sanders

Tools to Help Identify Strengths of Individuals
• Clifton StrengthsFinder 2.0 – one on-line assessment comes with the price of a copy of the book Strenghtsfinder 2.0.
• StrengthsExplorer for ages 10-14 –

Available at
• VIA Signature Strengths Questionnaire Measures 24 Character Strengths
• VIA Strength Survey for Children Measures 24 Character Strengths for Children

Appreciative Inquiry Commons -
Asset Based Community Development
Asset-Based Thinking
Open Space Technology -
Positive Deviancy Initiative -
World Café -

1 comment:

Kathy Cramer PhD said...

what a great list of strength-based resources. THANK YOU! We are thrilled to be in such good company. Kathy Cramer,PhD