September 2009
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 Wonder what can be done, if anything, to help our ailing educational system? New Expert on Call Ellen Grondine  is building upon the strengths of the schools in her community! Ellen has used appreciative Inquiry with parents and teachers in an elementary school to develop strong collaborative relationships. Ellen is making a difference in her community.

Ellen worked with a school principal in a low to moderate income community. The principal had a concerned about the feedback he was getting from parents who had either observed or experienced a negative interaction with a teacher or staff member within the school. Many parents shared that they did not feel welcome. The principal also felt that his leadership team was lacking in direction and he found that more often than not discussion surrounding the internal work was negative and focused upon what was not working rather than looking at areas where things were working well. He was also keenly aware that the State mandated standardized testing was taking a toll on the creativity and freedom teachers had within the classroom and this was contributing to the negative environment. Learn more about Ellen's inquiry and her follow up endeavors.

Ellen will be working with Lane Glenn as the co-trainer for the AIFT  from April 12 to 15, 2010 in Wye Mills, Maryland. Our host organization, Chesapeake College have big plans for AI on there campus!  Our typical training includes private sector and public sector employees, we often have at least one organization investing in a team, consultants and individuals and at least on international traveler.
New Department Chair?
Leading in Challenging Times

A quick Google search and I found many hits for department chair. Most of these "hits" were job descriptions from a number of colleges and universities. Some start job descriptions include the statement. "The position of Chair is important and one of the most difficult in any college environment." If you are a Department Chair this is no surprise.
Some chairs are elected and others appointed and the job comes with built in term limits. What is certain is that many are unprepared for the move from greatest educator in the classroom to the new role of go between.
Reading some of the job descriptions is like reading the script for a CBS show titled CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.  Only a forensic sleuth could wind their way through these job descriptions and know how it happened and who did it before big reveal. For More on the Mystery of the DC  You can register or find dates on upcoming Department Chair Workshops by visiting our registration page. To learn more about the Department Chair Institute, please visit the DCI website.
Cash for Clunkers?
Looking for Opportunities

Cash for Clunkers, what a concept. What do you do when you feel like a clunker? Too many miles? Need a new paint job? Maybe the clutch is a bit worn? No government bail out here - how did I get left out? The truth is, you can be your own stimulus plan and perhaps it maybe a requirement for our times. You have that power, that ability to regenerate your energy and revitalize your attitude and your life.   More>

Organizational Change
   Where does it Start?

How has the economic shift this impacted your organization, your culture and your employees? With the significant changes in the world, is there any organization that has not had to make major changes in how they operate? Whether private or public, how our organizations work and how we determine success has changed.

 We have seen and heard of a lack of accountability in key financial areas, the integrity of important people or organizations has been called into question. The level of accountability is even higher for organizations. Most organizations will look more at facilities, money and lose focus on their most valuable resources - their employees. Organizations are required to more with less. How do they do this while gaining commitment from employees who are looking for a work-life balance? How do we bring together the needs of organizations and their employees, but still keep an eye on the return ratio?
Appreciative Inquiry and Strategic Planning

Community colleges are using Appreciative Inquiry (AI) both to develop strategic plans and, on a daily basis, continuously improvise or, as the long-time president of The George Washington University put it, continuously "troll for opportunities."

Dr. Nancy Stetson has woven the stories of community colleges and how they have chosen to She describes the planning, the outcomes and the guiding principles of several colleges.

The book, based on the AI stories of community colleges, can be a model for other organizations and consultants who work with educational and corporate clients. Chapter 3 covers strategic planning and leads us to understand how organizational culture can be impacted by AI and by insightful, focused and open leadership. For more information on how to purchase or download Nancy's book, please click here.

For a live webinar on Strategic Planning using AI, the vice president of Academic Affairs at NECC, Dr. Lane Glenn has developed a very information session " Developing Your College's Next Strategic Plan with Appreciative Inquiry" as an overview for college executives, executive teams, and planning committees. NECC has a short video highlighting their Strategic Planning efforts.  For more details and to register for this webinar.
Stories of Positive Change in the Community College: Appreciative Inquiry in Action

The best advertising for any book, training or service is when we hear from someone how our effort made a difference for them. Dr. Nancy Stetson gathered stories and wove them into a handbook on topics that are so important for any organization such as team building and strategic planning. Written about community colleges and the stakeholders who saw that AI gave them the possibility to create positive change. The stories work for other agencies, public and private. Nancy recently received a note from John Thibodeau " I bought your book when it came out, and it helped me formulate the topic for my dissertation."

Nancy responded with " I wrote the book (Stories of Positive Change)  to inspire people" If you, like John were inspired by her book, let Nancy know.

You can purchase Nancy's book or download it for a very reasonable price.
In This Issue
New Department Chair?
Cash for Clunkers Concept
Organizational Change
Strategic Planning and AI
Online Workshops

Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training

Department Chair Institute

New Department Chair?

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About Us - the Company of Experts and Experts on Call
We are each unique in our thoughts and our path - what joins us is our compassion for bringing people together to build a brighter future.


Kathy Becker, M.A., Appreciative Inquiry Certified Facilitator (AICF)
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