As has been discussed in previous Blog Posts Entrepreneurialism and Appreciative Inquiry speaks with a similar voice. Today, we will explore the link between the Dream stage of the AI 4-D Cycle and entrepreneurialism. The AppreciativAs has been discussed in previous Blog Posts Entrepreneurialism and Appreciative Inquiry speaks with a similar voice. Today, we will explore the link between the Dream stage of the AI 4-D Cycle and entrepreneurialism. The Appreciative Inquiry Dream stage is focused on defining the future vision or ideal state when a particular objective is achieved. It is populated with data from the Discovery phase where there is an exploration of you, the individual or entity is at their best relative to a topic or objective. The Dream stage is also based on the aspirations of team members or employees or individuals – infusing their future state with their highest aspirations. In developing the ideal state, time is spent answering the question: “Who am I at my Best relative to …..” – appealing to our highest dreams and hopes, the future state creates an attractive space that is highly desirable. This is essential for energy will be needed to bring the ideal state to life and live within its new framework.

Entrepreneurs find themselves in similar positions regarding the future as they have an inspirational idea and believe the world is ready for it or needs it. While this might be a correct assumption, to ensure success of their venture, entrepreneurs would be wise to invest time to define their ideal outcome. What will the world as a whole experience with their product and service while also addressing what will their world look like on some level of detail. Entrepreneurs have many opportunities for success and taking the time to put themselves in a position of succeeding is key – developing a clear, detailed image of the future (dream) is such an action. By creating that image of the future the entrepreneur has an anchor with which to guide future decisions and allocate resources.

The development of that vision/dream requires engaging in discovery as we have previously noted in another blog post (provide the link). Taking a page from Adaptive Action, there are three questions the entrepreneur can ask regarding their business proposition:
· What – is my product or service
· So what – what need or desire is addressed
· Now what – how does the market learn and buy

These questions provide guidance to the business that is being developed and the answer will help frame the structure of the business. To optimize their process of questioning, the entrepreneur is served by inviting future customers into the conversation. How does the customer answer the three questions and are there similarities in the answers as it would indicate an alignment of belief regarding the product/service.

These questions are not the same the entrepreneur will ask himself as the individual needs to identify what drives them to engage in this business – they are questions about the essence of the person. The entrepreneur who is willing to challenge themselves with questions regarding who they are at their best and then create that vision. The dream many entrepreneurs carry with them is frequently lost in the details of operating the business and while these details are important, it is not the reason most folks became entrepreneurs. Getting lost in the business details lose sight of who we are at our best. Spending time with the question – “Who am I at my best?” as an entrepreneur – allows a person do explore what brought them into the business and what excites them about the business opportunity.

Entrepreneurs who are at their “Best” have a clear understanding about their role in the business, the skill sets needed and what fuels their passion. Their vision for themselves addresses:
· Daily fueling their passion
· Engaging the customer
· Utilizing their strengths and collaborating with needed strengths
· Every day having the opportunity to move the business forward
· Building relationships

An entrepreneurial vision that addresses these items and is based on asking unconditionally positive questions of self – is bound to be a motivating vision that creates energy and action not to mention success!

I invite you to share your entrepreneurial vision and the questions you asked yourself.

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

By: Ralph Weickel

President, European Center for Positive Change & Performance Management