Appreciative Inquiry

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a strengths based method of engaging communities. It requires us to look for what works in a community, and is a fabulous way to engage people from all walks of life. Our training is grounded in positivity and trains you to understand the characteristics of communities at their best: we want to inspire action for positive change.


Appreciative Inquiry helps an understanding of the "roots" - those strengths within a community

At MutualGain, our programme follows the five stages of appreciative inquiry:


What is the focus of the inquiry?


Appreciating the best of ‘what is’


Imagining what could be


Determining what should be


Creating what will be

We love unleashing people’s creativity! We offer a one day training course and a bespoke supported delivery package to support and challenge people to deliver the 5 Ds in practice.

When done correctly, AI provides a positive outcome (mutual gain!) for all.  If you are looking for a model that seeks to engage communities in self-determined change, then AI could be the model for you.

For further information please contact us at
We’d love to share some videos of Appreciative Inquiry delivered as part of MutualGain programmes:
Northgate, County Durham

MutualGain helped a partnership of police, local council and the local community to have a discussion about what they liked and disliked about Northgate in County Durham. Can you spot all of the Police Officers? No? Good! We like Police Officers who attend our events to come in their own clothes so that the community feel comfortable having discussions with them.

Cheetham Hill, Greater Manchester

We worked with Greater Manchester Police to help improve their engagement with the communities they Police. The Police were really keen to speak to individuals in the community they would never normally speak to, working with the community to build trust and interest in their work.

Willenhall, West Midlands

MutualGain helped hold an Appreciative Inquiry event in Willenhall, West Midlands. The partnership involved were really keen to make sure the community were given an opportunity to share their views on what they loved about living in Willenhall, and give them a foundation to get more involved in helping them improve their community. As one of the local residents Sara said, this was “Amazing”. We agree!