The 5-D model of is one of a number of Appreciative Inquiry models. These models are easily recognizable to Organization Development practitioners as Action Research models, which they are, but through an AI lens. The five "D"s are:
- Definition..(what you want more of)
- Discovery..(appreciating what is)
- Dream.......(imagining what could be)
- Design......(determining what should be)
- Destiny.....(creating what will be)
The definition phase is actually a pre-inquiry phase. This would mean only a small number of people are involved in choosing the affirmative topic. It is important therefore to pay close attention to "ground shifts" in the data gathered during the Discovery phase. Although this can be done qualitatively, Bushe notes a quantitative approach can be done by doing a word count of the Discovery phase and comparing for congruence between the most frequently appearing words and the affirmative topic. If the discovery data contradicts the affirmative topic, then the ground has shifted; a new affirmative topic needs to be identified.
Once the affirmative topic is known to have been properly identified, the two key phases are:
- Discovery:.New knowledge, images, models, or theories have been identified.
- Dream:......A generative metaphor has been created.
While many people, particularly OD people, consider carefully crafted participatory Design (action plans) and Destiny (implementation) phases as key, the research done by Gervase R. Bushe has shown that transformational and sustainable change is better supported by a more improvational approach to design and destiny.