Appreciation, Influence, and Control (AIC) A Theory and Model for Leadership Development in Nursing

Monday, 18 November 2013: 3:15 PM

Daniel J. Pesut, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN, ACC
Katharine Densford International Center for Nursing Leadership, University of Minnesota School of Nursing, Minnepolis, MN

The complexity-informed processes of Appreciation, Influence and Control (AIC) ( Smith, 2009)  supports ongoing personal leadership development  through understanding the dynamics of appreciation, influence and control in service of professional ideals, values, and goals.  Intentional use of the AIC process supports the discovery, design, and development of innovations in practice, education and research. Transformational and visionary leadership is built upon appreciation, influence and control dynamics. Power is the ability to get work done through managing and negotiating the tensions between actual and potential realities based on analysis and assessment of the appreciation, influence, and control dynamics in any situation.  Smith (2009) proposes that when one establishes a purpose three power fields are created:  an Appreciative power field, an Influence power field and a Control power field.  Iterative reflection on how these three fields relate and influence each other provides leadership insights for action and working in teams. Agreeing on the purpose, its realization depends on reflection and action dynamics associated with appreciation, influence and control. AIC works through harvesting purpose and invites questions:  If this is the purpose I want to achieve, who will support and who will oppose it? How will I take the influence of others into account in an appreciative way?  What influence do I have in this situation? How will I respond to the influence of others and how will others respond to me? As one dwells and reflects on the information that is provided by others, then one can act in service of the purpose.  The AIC model deepens one’s understanding of the dynamics of appreciative inquiry and the value and importance of engaging others through processes like Liberating structures. Through intentional use of the AIC process nurses can develop leadership skills and create positive engaged work environments, improving quality and safety through teamwork.