This issue of Systemic Practice and Action Research focuses on the practice of co-operative inquiry, and in particular on the choices and actions of those who initiate and facilitate co-operative inquiry groups. I have been struck how much the people who I talk to about co-operative inquiry want to hear stories: not just the theory and methodology, but the human stories about how it all works. They want to know how to initiate an inquiry group, how many people to include, how long the inquiry should go on for, how to locate an inquiry within an organization. In particular, they want to know about the personal qualities this kind of inquiry will demand, the attitudes and skills they will be required to manifest. Maybe the most frequent question people ask is about power and influence: If the inquiry is to be truly co-operative, does this mean that as initiator I cannot be influential? The six papers in this issue address these concerns by providing accounts of how the authors—all of whom recently initiated and participated in co-operative inquiry projects—established and worked with inquiry groups.
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