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Insights into Learning from Success: Appreciative Inquiry and the Genetic Algorithm ~ Ryan Quinn (11/5/15)

  • 05 Nov 2015
  • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • AnyMeeting Webinar: The link to join will be sent to those that register


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Insights into Learning from Success: Appreciative Inquiry and the Genetic Algorithm 

Ryan Quinn, PhD, Univ. of Louisville College of Business

On the surface, positive organizational learning processes like Appreciative Inquiry, Lead User Process, or Positive Deviance should not be effective because they commit the cardinal statistical sin of sampling on the dependent variable. Recent research by Dr. Quinn and his colleagues investigate instead the possibility that that we should use different standards, instead of statistics, for judging the effectiveness of such processes. In particular, they examine the efficacy of using the genetic algorithm (a computational model from the field of complexity theory) as a model for organizational learning procedures. They find that comparison with this model provides specific instructions for improving AI. We will follow this webinar with one on December 10 looking at an application of this research in a web app that organizations can use to build on success AND apply the principles of LIFT to interactions large and small.


Ryan Quinn is an Associate Professor of Management in the University of Louisville's College of Business. He teaches leadership, organizational behavior, and negotiations, and has also taught change management. His research focuses on topics such as leadership, psychological states, courage, learning from success, and high-impact conversations. He has taught executives, PhDs, MBAs, and undergraduate students, and has consulted for Fortune 500 companies, private firms, and start-up businesses. He is also involved in the Darden/Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education's Turnaround Specialist Program, helping to train principals who are attempting to transform public schools in which students are not achieving academic standards.

Ryan has a B.S. in statistics from Brigham Young University, a Ph.D. in Management and Organizations from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, a graduate certificate in the study of complex systems from the University of Michigan, and has studied international business and corporate strategy in Hitotsubashi University in Japan. Ryan has also been heavily involved in the Positive Organizational Scholarship movement, focusing many of his research questions on understanding what makes organizations and the people within them flourish, excel, and exceed expectations.

Ryan has published articles in journals such as Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Review, Organization Science, Human Resource Management, Academy of Management Annals, and Journal of Management. He co-authored two editions of the book, Lift: The Fundamental State of Leadership with his father, Robert E. Quinn.

Dr. Quinn's publications include 

  • Lift: Becoming a Positive Force in Any Situation

  • Building a Sustainable Model of Human Energy in Organizations: The Counterbalancing Forces of Resource-Seeking and Demand-Seeking, Academy of Management Annals, 6, pp. 337-396.

  • Strategic Innovation: A Toolkit for Leadership Conversations, Business and Economy, March 17 Issue.
  • Enabling Courageous Collective Action: Conversations from United Airlines Flight 93, Organization
  • Science, 19-4, pp. 497-516.

Registration is free for Supporting and Lifetime members of the MAPP Alumni Association.  

Registration for Basic members costs $20.  MAPP graduate and want to get this webinar for free?   You can pay the $40 dues now to become a supporting member. You'll get free registration for this webinar and for other continuing education webinars coming up in the next 12 months.  

Registration for the general public costs $25.

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