Enough Hope to Spare: How Appreciative Inquiry Boosts the Human in Human Services with Dr. Nicole Bossard

Dr. Nicole Bossard helps community and social service agencies align organizational values and business practices; strengthen accountability processes; improve collaborative partnerships; improve employee engagement and dramatically expand leadership capacity throughout the organization. With over 25 years experience helping social and human service providers make the shift from compliance-driven practice to real impact for individuals, families, employers, and communities in urban, suburban, rural areas, and Tribal nations across the United States, Dr. Nicole understands the pressures to perform and deliver results in a systems context. She joins us to share her journey with Appreciative Inquiry, where she has seen it have real impact in child protective services, and how she thinks organizations can tap into their best resource: the full engagement and inclusion of their employees and customers!

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Episode Highlights:

  • Dr. Nicole shares how she discovered Appreciative Inquiry and what pushed her toward taking a deep dive in applying it in her work.
  • She shares her commitment to making our relationship accountability objectives as important as our systems change objectives.
  • Appreciative Inquiry challenges the faulty premise that we have to focus in on the problem, which only pigeon holes us to the presenting issue.
  • Dr. Nicole’s work leading systems change in child welfare services meant gathering a whole system of stakeholders, including among others, birth parents.
  • She shares how she helped create safe spaces for people in a system rife with secondary trauma.
  • She walks us through the process of how she ran a Summit to improve system outcomes for child welfare services.
  • There is a transformation that happens when you invite people to see themselves as leaders.
  • Dr. Nicole shares the story of Sherry Tomlinson and how important it is to include big loud, sometimes scary, voices.
  • She leaves us with the takeaway that this approach to human systems allows for a soul blossoming that creates so much value and the kind of collaboration needed in the world today.
We’re looking not at what’s functioning in the system any old time, not what’s happening in the system when the system is broken down, but when the system is at its best.

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