Company of Experts, Inc.

Always Appreciating What's Good...

December 2011

Company of Experts Consulting Services

As we reflect on all that has happened over this past year, we are so appreciative of the opportunity to work with each of you.    The challenges have ignited in us the fuel to inquire, reflect and focus on outcomes drawing upon our strengths.  In this new year, we will continue to work with organizations and individuals to "change the way we think about change" and to "facilitate a sustainable future regardless of the challenges". We won't ignore the challenges or deny the problems; however, by initially adapting to change we create dreams of opportunity.   


This year we had the pleasure of meeting many new and memorable individuals. Our experience with each of you made this year one to remember. We were also blessed with the opportunity to participate in many fun and fulfilling projects around the World. A few of the places our work took us to were: North Carolina (NCSPOD 2011 annual conference), University of Nevada Reno, University of San Diego, Truman Medical Center, KCTCS, Disability Rights Nebraska, South Africa, Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa, SAB Miller South America, Stanford Medical Center, College of the North Atlantic - Qatar, Australia, and many more.


Begin the New Year by asking yourself a question that will focus on the best of what you want in the future.  Start by reflecting on this past year. Share a story about a time that you felt most that felt most warm and meaningful. Who was there? What made it so wonderful? What made it so special?


We thank you for sharing your stories with us -  we laugh, we learn, and are amazed at the engagement and excitement that we hear from you. The stories you share bring such light into our office and to our work. This coming year, we see the door of opportunity opening for so many of you - and we look forward to walking the journey with you.   

Warmest Wishes,

Your Friends at the Company of Experts
Welcome to the AI Community!!

Company of Experts is pleased to introduce its newest Certified Appreciative Inquiry Facilitators (CAIF) to its growing AI family. 

The individuals listed below participated in our 4-day  Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT) program and submitted a practicum demonstrating their knowledge and application of Appreciative Inquiry. In reading their practicums, we are able to celebrate in their achievements and observe how Appreciative Inquiry has positively influenced their lives - personally and professionally.

New practicums are frequently posted to our blog, so check back often to see what new stories have been posted. Click here for more practicums.  

Words Creates Worlds
Better living through positive dialogue! Words Create Worlds

Read an issue of our "Words Create Worlds" (WCW) - a periodical compilation of success stories collected from AIFT participants from around the world. Words Create Worlds illustrates how AIFT participants have used words to help shape their world and the world of others - resulting in positive change.


If you wish to read our WCW publications, please click here.


New Workshop to Debut in 2012
Smart Grant Writing: Turning Your Words into Money

Company of Experts is pleased to introduce its newest addition to its growing list of workshops, "Smart Grant Writing: Turning Your Words into Money." Stephen Price, Proposal Evaluation Designer with Educational Resource Consultants (ERC), has spent over a decade writing successfully funded grant proposals in a variety of areas including professional development, school improvement, service-learning, after school, mentoring, school technology, family literacy, youth fitness, violence prevention, and college access programs. Stephen is now bringing his knowledge and experience to Las Vegas for an intense 3-day workshop. 

This workshop covers everything you need to know to succeed in grant writing, even if you do not have previous experience. You will learn how to locate the right grant funding opportunity and write a grant proposal that gets funded, using proven strategies and models developed by the successful grant writing team at Educational Resource Consultants. This three-day workshop is designed for K-12, college and university administrators, faculty, or staff with basic writing skills and who need money for new projects. This workshop is also geared towards leaders of non-profit organizations that seek grant funding. Registration includes three full days of instruction, continental breakfast, instructional materials, and grant writing certification.

Dates and Location:

Featured Event of the Month
Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT)
Cape Town, South Africa ~ January 30 - February 2, 2012


TAKE A MOMENT TO REFLECT: "What might be possible if stakeholders were fully engaged and using their strengths to collectively achieve shared visions?


Cultivate sustainable change using Appreciative Inquiry as your tool! Appreciative Inquiry is a collaborative, strengths-based approach to bother personal and organizational development that is proving to be highly effective in thousands of organizations and communities in hundreds of countries around the world. It is a way of bring change that shares leadership and learning - fully engaging everyone in the process! 


Our world-renowned program, Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT), teaches participants the skills and foundations needed to facilitate Appreciative Inquiry sessions to both small and large human systems. As an AIFT participant, you will learn to guide organizations, groups, individuals, and communities consciously and deliberately shift their collected ways of being and seeing to an appreciative approach that will allow them to focus on what's right in their organization, group or community, rather than on what's wrong. Rather than focusing on problems, Appreciative Inquiry elicits SOLUTIONS! 

This Appreciative Inquiry foundations course includes mini-lectures, and experiential learning (individual, pairs, trios, small group, and large group) as well as auditory and visual materials to enhance the learning experience. Each day has a morning and afternoon session; a morning and afternoon break; and one hour for lunch.

To learn more about
this Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT), please click
2012 World Appreciative Inquiry Conference (WAIC)
Ghent, Belgium ~ April 25 - 28, 2012

Over two decades ago David Cooperrider and Suresh Srivastva brought Appreciative Inquiry into organizational life. It shifted our attention from organizational life as "a problem-to-be-solved", to "a universe-of-strengths". One decade later Gallup unveiled the results of its landmark research study amongst 1.5 million people worldwide. The research confirmed the basic AI principle: a person, an organization or a larger system will excel only by knowing and amplifying strengths, never by fixing weaknesses.


Since then many people and organizations around the world have shifted their attention to strengths-based practices and leadership. This has led to breathtaking results and breakthroughs. The community of people applying AI at all levels or organizational and social life is growing continuously. Not limited by sector or continent. AI is a true global innovation. AI is changing the way that we look at change.


The World Appreciative Inquiry Conference is held every three years. The last decade, the conference was held three times in the US and lately in Kathmandu, Nepal (2009). In April 2012, it will be organized in Europe for the first time in history. The marvelous city of Ghent (Belgium) will set the scenery for this event.



To learn more about the 2012 World Appreciative Inquiry Conference, please visit their website.
Don't Miss the 2012 International Professional Development Workshop
Sponsored by NCSPOD and presented by the Center for Appreciative Inquiry


This year's International Professional Development Workshop (IPDW) will deature two one-hour virtual sessions on the topic of Appreciative Inquiry for colleagues and students and is FREE TO NCSPOD MEMBERS.


Appreciative Inquiry for Colleagues

March 1, 2012, 2:00 - 3:00 PM EST


Appreciative Inquiry for Students

March 8, 2012, 2:00 - 3:00 PM EST


Additional workshop details and registration information will be sent out in January, so keep an eye on your inbox.   

Call for Articles
Using Appreciative Processes to Transform Social Structures
For AI Practitioner ~ August 2012 Issue

The August 2012 issue of the AI Practitioner will focus on how the practice of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) fosters and opens inclusive spaces in organizations of all kinds. We invite Appreciative Inquiry practitioners to share articles, stories, case studies, reflections, art, images, poetry, research, models and theory regarding creating inclusive spaces. We are particularly interested in how Appreciative Inquiry has generated those inclusive spaces with emancipatory and social justice frameworks such as transformative education or critical theory.


Proposals for the August 2012 AI Practitioner issue are due by December 1, 2011. Full proposal details can be found here


Save the Dates...
October 17-19, 2012 ~ NCSPOD 2012 Annual Conference

Think it's too early to consider next year's North American Council for Staff, Program, and Organizational Development (NCSPOD) annual conference? Think again! NCSPOD will be in Rockville, MD, at the Rockville Hilton Hotel, which is a mere 8 miles from the White House. NCSPOD conferences are family-friendly, offering meal tickets for guests so that they can share meals and special events and excursions with you during the conference. While you are in programs and meetings, guests can enjoy the sights and attractions of Washington and, with some advance planning, so can you. Use this opportunity to extend your stay and see DC.

The November Blast! included a top-ten list of things to do in DC. Transportation to and from DC sights will be easy to arrange. The Twinbrook Metro Station is located adjacent to the hotel and is readily accessible to the museums, monuments, and other places of interest in Washington, DC.
Department Chair Institute (DCI) goes Social!
Connect with other ACADEMIC LEADERS!

Company of Experts is proud to announce that the Department Chair Institute (DCI)  has its own Facebook page. The Department Chair Institute (DCI), a branch of the Company of Experts, is best known for its 3-day Department Chair Institute workshop, but is happy to announce that it will be rolling out new offerings and services in 2012. Connect with the Department Chair Institute online and be the first to know of new events, offering, services.  


The Department Chair Institute's Facebook page will allow you to participate in online polls, chat with others academic leaders, read industry-related articles, view informational videos, and share your stories.  We look forward to seeing your online!  

***Don't forget to follow our other social media companies***:

Company of Experts and the Center for Appreciative Inquiry 

Logo Contest
Utilizing artistic creativity to mark a new beginning!

Company of Experts has the privilege to meet extraordinary people and organizations who genuinely value people and live to make a difference in the lives of those around them. Nebraska Advocacy Services (NAS) is no exception.

Nebraska Advocacy Services is going to be changing its name! Starting July of 2012, Nebraska Advocacy Services, The Center for Disability Rights, Law, and Advocacy, will become Disability Rights Nebraska.


Nebraska Advocacy Services wants your help in designing its new logo for its new name! The Contest is open to individuals, disability organizations, companies, and educational institutions. You do not need to have a disability to participate, but people with disabilities are encouraged to enter a design. See below for the full contest rules.


To learn more about contest rules and prizes, please click here.

Become a Host for our Trainings
We offer incentives to hosting organizations for their hospitality

Company of Experts is seeking host organizations throughout the world to host any of our trainings (Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT), Department Chair Institute (DCI), and Leadership Development Institute(LDI)). To show our gratitude, host organizations receive two complimentary registrations for a training held on their site when minimum enrollment is met.
Host organizations may limit the training to people at their organization or it can be open to others. If the training is open, Company of Experts partner with the host organization to help promote the training.  
Please contact Kathy or Heather for more information.

Webinar Recordings On-Demand
Providing professional development tidbits on-the-go!

Company of Experts' webinar recordings provide you with the opportunity to learn at a time and place that is most convenient. Gather a group in a conference room or listen at your desktop when it works with your schedule. Company of Experts' webinar recordings are available for download which can be replayed as often as you wish and can be shared with with your colleagues and friends.


To view a list of our webinar recordings, please click here

In This Issue
Welcome to the AI Community
Words Create Worlds©
New Workshop Debuts in 2012
Featured Event of the Month
2012 World Appreciative Inquiry Conference (WAIC)
2012 International Professional Development Workshops
Call for Articles for AI Practitioner
Save the Dates - NCSPOD 2012 Conference
The Department Chair Insitute Goes Social
Logo Contest
Become a Host for our Trainings
Recordings On-Demand
Upcoming Events
Recent Tweets
Good Reads
Expert on Call Spotlight
About Company of Experts
Visit Our Websites
Upcoming Events:
Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT)
Location: Doha, Qatar
Dates: January 8 - 11, 2012

Department Chair Institute (DCI) 

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Dates: January 11 - 13, 2012

View Event Page >>


Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT)
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Dates: Jan 30 - Feb. 2, 2012

Smart Grant Writing
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Dates: January 8-11, 2012

Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT)
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Dates: February 14 - 17, 2012

View Company of Experts' Entire Event Calendar here >>
Recent Tweets

@CompanyofExperts: Job Enrichment - Increasing Job Satisfaction   


@CompanyofExperts: "Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies."-Mother Teresa  


@CompanyofExperts: Ever heard of the well-being index?  


@CompanyofExperts: The secret to good leadership? Keeping it simple  


@CompanyofExperts: Competition for the best students has never been more intense among the leading business schools.  
Good Reads...

Reframing Evaluation through Appreciative Inquiry   

By: Hallie Preskill  

Description: Reframing Evaluation Through Appreciative Inquiry is the first book to introduce the application of Appreciative Inquiry (AI), an approach for organizational development and change, to the practice of evaluation. Authors Hallie Preskill and Tessie Tzavaras Catsambas lay out the theoretical foundation of AI and build a bridge between the theory and practice of applying AI to evaluation.   


Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence 

By: Benson J. Lossing 

Description: Most people know the importance of the Declaration of Independence, but few know much about its signers. This reprint of an 1848 original provides a brief biography on each of the fifty-six signers of the Declaration. Learn the virtues of these venerated Americans who helped create the most stable and enviable nation in the world.   


The Life of Abraham Lincoln

By: Henry Ketcham 

Description: A book about the life of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, who was an outspoken opponent of the expansion of slavery and a political leader in the western states.  

Expert on Call Spotlight
Cheri Torres Picture

What might be possible if community and organization members were fully engaged and using their strengths to collectively achieve shared visions?


This is the question that motivates Cheri Torres and has her focused on collaboration. Given current global challenges, Cheri uses strengths-based organizational design practices to help clients respond effectively to increasing levels of complexity in their environments and growing demand for innovation and change. Her strategy is to expand collaborative capacity in communities and organizations using Appreciative Inquiry, Sociotechnical Systems Design, and Experiential Learning.  She does this by partnering with her clients to intentionally design workplace environments, multi-stakeholder conversations, organizational systems and individual and team training to maximize value for all stakeholders.


Her experience has taught her that systems and events that are intentionally designed for collaboration elicit our inherent collaborative capacity, regardless of our differences in background, views, or values. Expanding that capacity through lessons and intentional practice leads to increasing competence in thinking and working together with joy and creativity, resulting in sustainable innovation and ever-evolving excellence.


Cheri believes people are capable of extraordinary contributions when given the opportunity; consequently, she works with organization and community leadership to design for full engagement, and she provides strategies for people to expand their capacity to take advantage of new opportunities.  Her training and coaching programs are uniquely designed for immediate and long-term impact, focusing on changing workplace practices rather than people...Read More >>  


"The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves."

~ Carl Jung, Psychologist 


"Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation."

~ Robert F. Kennedy 


The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.

~ Marcel Proust, Novelist

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About Company of Experts
Established in 1989, Company of Experts is an international network of people with outstanding expertise in Appreciative Inquiry (a strengths-based approach to group and organizational change), Coaching, Consulting, Facilitating, Keynoting, and Training. This network of individuals serves the needs of community colleges, schools and universities, businesses and corporations, governmental agencies, and nonprofit organizations.


What makes us unique is our ability to select consultants, trainers, coachers, speakers, and facilitators from among the best in the world. Company of Experts, Inc. carefully selects the Experts they bring on board by looking for individuals that share the same values as the Company - "Building Trust, Valuing People." Our Experts possess a passion for working with people, are appreciative of the opportunities they have, and have outstanding work experiences. It's the knowledge, passion, and genuine kindness of our Experts that add value to our workshops and overall experience of our participants.


P.O. Box 371062
Las Vegas, Nevada 89137
Company of Experts, Inc.