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Is AI Limited For Self-Engagement And Motivation?

Written by: Anila Bashllari, Senior Level Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Anila Kaba - Bashllari

It is an old saying heard through years that people don’t quit a job, but the boss. Of course, people are more likely to quit their job when they have a horrible boss. But there are many other reasons that company’s leadership should have into consideration in order to retain their staff, especially “the stars”. Different studies show that the percentage of employees quitting the job due to lack of recognition varies from 36 – 82%, becoming a “burning” topic for most companies and businesses.

businessman and woman talking inside the office
“The task of leadership is to create an alignment of strengths, making our weaknesses irrelevant”. – Peter Drucker

The rapid spread of change that leaders are facing today due to V.U.C.A world (a Volatile-Uncertain-Complex-Ambiguity world as a new reality) requires a continuous search for innovative solutions to the complex problems and challenges, among others staff engagement and retention.

The traditional problem-solving approach and change management directs attention to “what is not working” and finding the ways to fix it, creating the illusion that as long as the problem is fixed, the desired future automatically will unfold. ² In reality, doesn’t happen this way, affecting employee’s motivation and retention level.

While Change Management continues to be the most wanted competence among corporate leaders and managers worldwide, an IBM report indicated that over a two-year period, the percentage of CEOs expecting substantial change increased from 65% in 2006 to 83% in 2008, while the percentage of successfully managing change rose only by 4%.

This Change Gap is getting even higher today due to behavioral change of employees and the need for the most important skills required by organizations in the future as:

  • Authentic leadership vs managing people

  • Strategic planning through wide participation of employees in different levels

  • Increase of engagement and inspiring commitment of employees

  • Managing Change

The biggest problem noticed is that these skills are among the weakest competences among leaders today in addition to the way how change is perceived, understood, defined and managed to solve problems.

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) came as a response to unsolved problems in different organizations and is becoming a very efficient tool in response to problem-solving for expanding human potentials and possibilities, authentic leadership development and organizational change.

Appreciative Inquiry developed by David Cooperrider in 1980s, distinguishes itself from other organizational visioning change models by focusing on What is working/ Strengths and Values/ best experiences instead of classical approach of “How Can we fix what is not working”; How to increase engagement and motivation”; “What is stopping us from being on the top of our industry” etc.

Appreciative Inquiry is a unique invitation to bring people together to create the future they care about by innovating on what was best achieved in the past. It restores trust, generates hope, invites vision and opens up to doors of possibilities. No other methodology has the potential to be as effective in addressing problems and challenges while bringing impact and transformation, through understanding peak and most alive times of organizational high points possible experience; Seeking for the true potential and its expansion; creating and sustaining positive change and designing a practical and achievable set of goals where action must co-exist with reflection as perspiration must complement inspiration.

Appreciative Inquiry has been used globally by public and private organizations of all sizes to develop leadership skills, develop strategic plans, create a culture of high performance, restructuring of companies, sales growth, improve customer service, to mention few of its application.

two men talking about business in the office

Four stages of appreciative goalsetting process

Most of you are familiar with SMART goals and probably using for years while setting up personal or business goals. And it is a good model that gives you the perquisites to follow, adjust and achieve them. However, after studying four phases of Appreciative Inquiry model by David Cooperrider (Discover – Dream – Design – Destiny), I thought that these four additional stages will complement the design and achievement of SMART goals.

These four stages of Appreciative Goalsetting Process, taken into consideration while setting up SMART goals, will increase the potential of achieving them due to:

  1. Reflection on what is working well

  2. Starting with the end in mind

  3. Creating an action plan, chunking down long and short-term goals into daily ones

  4. Taking Authentic Actions based on what you are good at and passionate about

These stages create an Appreciative Mindset, not simply being positive and dreaming but developing the ability to undertake intentional, generative and authentic actions. It draws on the best from the past, including lessons learn from mistakes; inspiring the present and co-creating a better future.

This method calls for framing reality in a positive and inspiring way, where people open their minds to see new possibilities, innovative solutions to the complex problems, increase employee engagement, satisfaction and performance.

When you go through Appreciative Inquiry method and Appreciative Goalsetting, the retention rate of your employees goes up, job satisfaction, creativity and productivity as well as company profits.

Do you think that it is time to go beyond SMART goals?

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Anila Kaba - Bashllari Brainz Magazine

Anila Bashllari, Senior Level Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Anila Bashllari is an Executive and Business Coach on mindset enhancement, mental fitness and high performance. She coaches business leaders worldwide on Conscious Leader Framework, supporting them to live a holistic life, grows their business, become real manifestos of their dreams and vision, reconciles the conditioning patterns with true deep inside values through Inner and Outer Game. She has developed strategies how to enhance the mindset for creative thinking and achievement, feel resourceful, manage the inner energy to achieve a meaningful life and purposeful business and thrive during adversity times. Her mission is to create future leaders.



  • [1] AI is abbreviation for Appreciative Inquiry and not Artificial Intelligence

  • [2] Rephrase David Cooperrider



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