A provocative proposition is a tool used during Appreciative Inquiry, but I have used it in more informal situations when I want to think in big and inspiring ways.
Here is how David Cooperrider, one of the creators of Appreciatve Inquiry, describes provocative propositions”
“A provocative proposition is a statement that bridges the best of "what is"?? with your own speculation or intuition of "what might be"??. It is provocative to the extent to which it stretches the realm of the status quo, challenges common assumptions or routines, and helps suggest real possibilities that represent desired possibilities for the organization and its people.”
Try creating a provocative proposition for one of your goals. What would things look like under ideal circumstances?
According to Cooperrider, good provocative propositions are: provocative, grounded in reality (but still an exciting possibility), highly desired, and affirmative.
I much prefer the Appreciative Inquiry to a problem solving approach to change.
If you are interested in learning more about Appreciative Inquiry click here.