Company of Experts, Inc.

Always Appreciating What's Good...

November 2011

Company of Experts Consulting Services

November is the month of Thanksgiving! For our friends that reside outside of the U.S., Thanksgiving is a National holiday in the U.S. and is a time for family, friends, thankfulness, and reflection. A day set aside to be thankful and, more importantly, to let others know that you are thankful.  In this time of economic and environmental uncertainty, it may be a challenge for some to be grateful. Yet, just like Fall in the air, we are getting a slight whisper of change.
We invite each of you to join in the high energy and well-being that gratitude brings to each of us. Thankful for love, family, friends, health, happiness, children, food, flowers - the list is as bountiful as your imagination and heart can dream. Each of us can begin by asking ourselves and our friends a question that will focus on the best of what we want in the future, "Think back over this past year and 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?"

Have a wonderful and bountiful week. We thank each of you for sharing your stories of success - seeking the high points to learn, adapt and thrive. Your stories bring such light into our office and to our work.

Warmest Wishes,


Kathy Becker, President

Company of Experts, Inc.



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! Inside Higher Ed, the online source for news, opinion and jobs for all of higher education recently posted an article on their blog titled, "Memo to Chairs: Provosts Feel Your Pain" that revealed that provosts are worried that they provide too little training to Department Chairs.
Today's Department Chairs have one of the most conflicting roles on campus as they serve as liaison between administration and faculty. Department Chairs are responsible for curriculum, strategic planning, budget matters, personnel management, and program reviews - yet their position is not one of undisputed authority. Conflict can arise from many stakeholders - making it difficult for the chair to lead, plan, and unite their department.

Many Department Chairs are not prepared for their new role. Transitioning from faculty member to department chair can be challenging and requires learning new skill sets. The Department Chair Institute (DCI) was developed by educators to address the needs of department chairs and first-level administrators.

The three-day Department Chair Institute includes a morning and afternoon session each day; a morning and afternoon break; and one hour for lunch. Workshop format includes case studies, opportunities for practice (real and role plays) mini-lectures, assessment instruments, individual reflection and individual action planning. You also will have post-Institute access by email, for continued dialogue with other first-line instructional leaders.

To learn more about this Department Chair Institute (DCI), click here.
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.
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


Congrats NCSPOD Award Winners
Two Award Winners are part of the Company of Experts Family

Kathy Becker, President and CEO of the Company of Experts, won the Helen Burnstad International Leadership Award, at the 2011 NCSPOD Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Helen Burnstad Award recognizes Kathy's 
significant contributions in writing, research, leadership, and advocacy that promotes the goals of staff, program, and/or organizational development at the national or international level in higher education.

Kay Weiss, Ph.D., an Expert on Call for the Company of Experts, was presented with lifetime honorary membership to recognize Kay's significant contributions to NCSPOD as a member, board member from 2000-2004, President in 2002-3, and most recently as the champion and coordinator of the Certificate Program.  Even though Kay has taken an administrative role outside of staff and professional development, Kay remains a role model for all NCSPOD members.


To view a list of all the NCSPOD 2011 Award winners, please click here. 

To view NCSPOD 2011 presentation, please click here.

The Center for AI goes Social!
Connect with others who live and breathe AI!

Company of Experts is proud to announce that The Center for Appreciative Inquiry has its own Facebook and Twitter page. The Center for Appreciative Inquiry, a branch of the Company of Experts, is best known for its Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT), but is happy to announce that it will be rolling out new offerings and services in 2012. Connect with the Center for the Appreciative Inquiry and be the first to know of new events, offering, services.  


The Center for Appreciative Inquiry's facebook page will also allow you to participate in online polls, chat with others AI enthusiasts, read AI related articles, share pictures of your Appreciative Events, view AI videos, and share your stories.  We look forward to seeing your online! 

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.

In This Issue
Welcome to the AI Community
Words Create Worlds©
The Macon Miracle
New Workshop Debuts in 2012
Featured Event of the Month
2012 World Appreciative Inquiry Conference (WAIC)
Call for Articles for AI Practitioner
Congrats NCSPOD 2011 Award Winners
The Center for Appreciative Inquiry Goes Social
Logo Contest
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: 7 must-read books on education: read here 


@CompanyofExperts: Gender Difference in Emotional Health: read here 


@CompanyofExperts: Cultural Studies: Emoticons Move to the Business World - Cultural Studies: read here 


@BibbSchools: Check out videos from The Macon Miracle at


@CompanyofExperts: The capacity to devote yourself to the welfare of others yields otherwise unobtainable power and potential for good.
A Good Read...

That Used to Be Us:  

By: Friedman T & Mandelbaum M 

Description: In That Used to Be Us, Thomas L. Friedman, one of our most influential columnists, and Michael Mandelbaum, one of our leading foreign policy thinkers, offer both a wake-up call and a call to collective action. They analyze the four challenges we face: globalization, the revolution in information technology, the nation's chronic deficits, and our pattern of excessive energy consumption - and spell out what we need to do now to sustain the American dream and preserve American power in the world. They explain how the paralysis of our political system and the erosion of key American values have made it impossible for us to carry out the policies the country urgently needs.

       And yet Friedman and Mandelbaum believe that the recovery of American greatness is within reach. They show how America's history, when properly understood, offers a five-part formula for prosperity that will enable us to cope successfully with the challenges we face. They offer vivid profiles of individuals who have not lost sight of the American habits of bold thought and dramatic action. They propose a clear way out of the trap into which the country has fallen, a way that includes the rediscovery of some of our most vital traditions and the creation of a new thirdparty movement to galvanize the country.
       That Used to Be Us is both a searching exploration of the American condition today and a rousing manifesto for American renewal.
Expert on Call Spotlight
Expert on Call for the Company of Experts

Kay Weiss, Ed.D. is a community college administrator and has extensive experience in professional and organizational development.   In addition to teaching, Kay has served as a division dean, department chair, committee chair, and Standard Chair for Accreditation.    


Kay has been an extremely active volunteer with NCSPOD, serving as Western Region Vice President, President Elect, President, and Past President. She currently serves as Certificate Program Liaison, working with newer practitioners and mentors on NCSPOD's professional certificate process.  She has served as facilitator for the New Practitioners Institute, the Summer Institute and the International Professional Developers Workshop for NCSPOD.


She has also served as the lead facilitator for various Campus Great Teachers Format Seminars, including Great Staff Seminars, and the Great Online Teachers Seminar and has utilized both Appreciative Inquiry and the World Caf� Model to facilitate dialogue about topics "that matter most" in a variety of settings.. 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.