Hoffecker Burgess Consulting

Focusing organizational ingenuity
Empowering community vision



George Hoffecker and Donna Burgess help initiate “Appreciative Inquiry” based organizational development processes. Appreciative Inquiry is a positive, collaborative process for engaging people to build the kind of organizations and world that they want to live in. An AI process can help identify an optimal administrative structure for an organization.

Appreciative Inquiry is based on the assumption that there is a “fateful” connection between the questions we ask about the past and the present and the images we hold of what is possible in the future.

We can choose to inquire into the life of our organization based on the view that human systems are primarily constellations of problems/obstacles to the analyzed and overcome or we can seek knowledge about our school based on the view that human systems contain abundant life-giving forces to be understood and embraced in order to empower change.

Appreciative Inquiry recognizes that, whichever assumption we make about the nature of reality, the choice will lead us to a certain focus in our conversations. Those conversations will lead us to certain images being dominant in our minds, and those images will in turn lead to action at both the conscious and unconscious levels.

If we are focused on “improving” an organization, a team, a family, or a relationship, we can choose to focus on what is broken, what is a problem, what is frustrating us. Or we can choose to focus on that which is life-giving, energizing and valuable to us. An organization will turn its energy in the direction of the questions that we ask about it, whether positive or negative.


George Hoffecker

Donna Burgess



The approach of Appreciative Inquiry is to consciously seek out and inquire into that which has been life-enriching, joyful, energizing and successful in our organization so that we can create more of it in the future.

The AI approach to facilitating organizational development has been used for over 25 years in small and large organizations around the world. This experience has demonstrated that focusing people on what happens when things are at their best has two important consequences: 1) When you focus on the positive, it becomes a springboard (energizer) for the future;  and 2) Focusing on what works generates exceptionally useful information about what to enhance and build on as you move into the future together.


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© 2006 Hoffecker Burgess & Associates