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Always Appreciating What's Good...

February 2014

Company of Experts Consulting Services


We are feeling such a depth of gratitude for the opportunity to meet so many awesome people in this business and to partner whose energy and passion heighten us to achieve the best we can be. This past week we hosted an Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training. The group was dynamic, fully present and engaged in learning about Appreciative Inquiry. What could be better?


During our training, the book we have been waiting for ARRIVED! Not just any book. This book includes our AI Summit with 4500 people titled, "The Macon Miracle: The Magic of Intergenerational Design for the Future of Education". The book Organization Generativity: The Appreciative Inquiry Summit and a Scholarship of Transformation is available through Emerald Press. You can the buy the book in its entirety or purchase individual chapters. We are honored to share the pages of the book with so much Appreciative Inquiry Star Power.


Just holding the book in my hands brings back that sense of being involved in something greater. That moment that the Facilitators and Core Team Members recalled later as life changing. To witness Wholeness on that level is beyond words. Our facilitators included Cheri Torres, Trevor Warner, Kimberley Seitz, Melissa Robaina, Jim Pulliam, Joan Trottier, Annette Villancourt, Eileen Rohan, Charles Miller with a special Mention to Heather Robaina for her care and support of the Facilitation Team.

Warmest Wishes,

Kathy Becker, President & CEO of Company of Experts, Inc. 

Welcome to the AI Community!

Company of Experts is pleased to introduce its newest Certified Appreciative Inquiry Facilitators and/or Coaches to its growing AI family. 

The individual(s) listed below participated in our 4-day Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT) and/or our 5 day Appreciative Inquiry Coaching Training (AICT) 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. 
Can Appreciative Inquiry Transform Your Health? It Did For David Cooperrider.
"What's the tiniest Appreciative Inquiry (AI) summit in the world? Instead of a room of 300 or 1,000 people, could we take the principle of wholeness and actually design an AI Summit for breakthroughs or disruptive innovations for individual change?" That's the question on which Case Western Reserve University professor and AI co-pioneer David Cooperrider has built his recent tremendous health transformation.

After decades of using a change approach he co-pioneered with hundreds and thousands of other people, David Cooperrider decided to apply it to one of the toughest clients he could think of: himself.

The approach, Appreciative Inquiry, is anchored in two key premises:

  • that the seeds of change are held within the questions we ask ourselves and others;
  • desired change is mostly likely to rise through questions that draw out what's working and who's to be emulated rather than what's not working and who's to blame.
David's results? Within six months he lost more than 30 pounds, cut his cholesterol levels in half and competed in his first Olympic triathlons with his daughter. Read Full Article> 
10 Things Extraordinary Bosses Give Employees
Good bosses care about getting important things done. Exceptional bosses care about their people..

Good bosses have strong organizational skills. Good bosses have solid decision-making skills. Good bosses get important things done.


Exceptional bosses do all of the above--and more. Sure, they care about their company and customers, their vendors and suppliers. But most importantly, they care to an exceptional degree about the people who work for them. That's why extraordinary bosses give every employee these 10 things. Read Full Article> 

Don't Just be Happy, Inspire...
Your employees look to you for lots of things, not the least of which is your ability to create the conditions that help them thrive. New research reveals six vital elements you should focus on.


As the boss, you have a tremendous impact on your employees, maybe more than you know. Create an oppressive workplace and their performance will plunge (think "mental health day"). But when you create a positive environment you'll be amazed at just how eagerly they give you everything they've got. Office furniture-maker Steelcase has done a lot of research on employee well-being and recommends that leaders focus on these six dimensions. Read Full Article>  
8 Essential Elements for Finding Fulfillment at Work

Organizations bring out the best in their employees by creating environments where people love to work. Here are 8 ways to create an appreciative culture.  


We feel most alive when we're engaged in work and relationships that have meaning for us. Most of us derive meaning from rewarding work that has impact, relationships that are fulfilling, and opportunities to learn and grow. Each person will find this meaning for himself or herself, but some environments are more conducive than others in helping us to succeed in this search. Organizations help bring out the best in their employees by creating environments where people love to work. When employees are at their best, not only do they feel great, but they get terrific results for their organizations.


Here are some suggestions for creating a culture where people feel tremendous satisfaction and reward.Read Full Article> 

The Art of Revising Your Inner Storytelling
"Narrative truth," rather than "historical truth," shapes our impression of the world. How do you revise your inner storytelling? 


Our stories give shape to our inchoate, disparate, fleeting impressions of everyday life. They bring together the past and the future into the present to provide us with structures for working towards our goals. They give us a sense of identity and, most importantly, serve to integrate the feelings of our right brain with the language of our left. 

We are primed to use stories. Part of our survival as a species depended upon listening to the stories of our tribal elders as they shared parables and passed down their experience and the wisdom of those who went before. As we get older it is our short-term memory that fades rather than our long-term memory. Perhaps we have evolved like this so that we are able to tell the younger generation about the stories and experiences that have formed us which may be important to subsequent generations if they are to thrive. Read Full Article> 

A Scientific Reason to Stop and Smell the Roses
A new study suggests people are happier when they take time to appreciate the good things in life.

"Stop and smell the roses" may be a clich�, but new research suggests it's sound advice for finding satisfaction in life. A forthcoming study in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences suggests that appreciating the meaningful things and people in our lives may play an even larger role in our overall happiness than previously thought.

In the study, Rutgers University psychology professor Nancy Fagley had nearly 250 undergraduates take a survey measuring their levels of appreciation, which Fagley defines as "acknowledging the value and meaning of something-an event, a behavior, an object-and feeling positive emotional connection to it."


This is distinct from gratitude, Fagley says, which is a positive emotion directed toward a benefactor in response to receiving a gift of some sort, and is just one of several aspects of appreciation, according to Fagley. Indeed, in his book Thanks!, Robert Emmons, perhaps the leading scientific expert on gratitude, writes that gratitude isn't just about acknowledging the goodness in one's life but also "recognizing that the source(s) of this goodness lie at least partially outside the self." Read Full Article> 

Appreciative Team Building: Creating a Climate for Great Collaboration
Looking to build your team using Appreciative Inquiry? Here's a great interview guide to use with your team.


Appreciative Inquiry, the study of what works, is a distinct way of improving human systems. Its been applied across the spectrum in organizations, from whole system change to teambuilding to individual coaching. The appreciative approach has extraordinary power to unleash enthusiasm and momentum for positive change. In my view, this capacity involves AI's effect on two basic emotions-pride and its evil twin, shame. In its systematic bias toward the positive, AI sets up conversations that awaken pride. When relationships are grounded in pride teams become more cohesive and effective.

This article will explore how appreciative, strength-based teambuilding heightens the capacity for collaboration. I'll begin with an overview of appreciative inquiry's core principles and how they compare with traditional teambuilding approaches. We'll walk through the basic steps in an appreciative team inquiry, and then examine shame and pride more closely. Read Full Article>  
Mindfulness Training Catches On In College
Mindfulness Training in college shows promise as a tool to improve learning during the academic semester.

College is full of distractions, enticements and pressure. The environment may be especially troublesome for incoming freshmen, many experiencing their first taste of freedom away from parental guidance. This lack of concentration interferes with learning and is associated with stress, which tends to increase during the academic term.


To address this issue, University of Miami researchers are incorporating mindfulness training, specifically designed for undergraduate students. And a new study suggests the intervention shows promise as a tool to train attention and improve learning during the academic semester. Read Full Article>  

The Future of Your Business Depends on Curiosity

The future of business will rely on networking & sharing. Organizations need to foster a permanent state of curiosity to survive.  


"Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it saved my ass," Michael J. Fox said. In an economy of individuals with everyone in the world close to all the information in the world, organizations can no longer just copy-paste their strategy and plans from the year before. There is no way back. The open world is here to stay and expected to further accelerate. The future will be less about money, power or size, but more about agility, networking and sharing. In order to survive, businesses need to grow to a permanent state of curiosity, making it a core strategic competence. Read Full Article> 

Leaders Engage the Hearts and Mind

When people are fully engaged, they deliver passionate performance, a valuable, sustained intellectual and emotional attachment to their daily work.As a leader, you're the only person who can engage your employees. It's not your manager's responsibility or Human Resources' - it's yours. Engaging the people in your organization is a leadership matter, not a company matter.


When you fulfill your employee's needs, you create positive connection culture - connections between your employees and you, between their work and their purpose, and between each other. These connections establish very valuable, intangible relationships that yield amazing tangible results. Read Full Article>�   

Appreciative Inquiry Coaching Training (AICT)
Infuse Appreciative Inquiry into your coaching/consulting practice to strengthen the positive core of both you and your clients.
Appreciative Inquiry Coaching Training ICF CCE
Discover how to use your existing coaching skills within the energizing and affirming framework of Appreciative Inquiry to deepen and enhance both your personal sense of yourself as well as your skills as a coach/consultant.  
The "Appreciative Inquiry Coaching Training (AICT)" is an intensive 5 day course and will comprise of a full Appreciative Inquiry into our collective experience of Appreciative Inquiry and Coaching. Together we will explore and experience each of the 5 D's as it relates to one-on-one relationships (between you and your client). The practicum, which participants will submit for certification, will embody "Destiny" as you apply the lessons taught during this course into your coaching work."
Introductory AI Workshop: Creating What Will Be
This two-day introduction Appreciative Inquiry (AI) workshops: "Creating What Will Be" focuses on gaining an appreciation of Appreciative Inquiry and its applications.  The objective of this course is to strengthen the capacity of your use in participatory approaches at work or at home through the use of appreciative and assets-based approaches that encourage greater self-reliance, identification of local assets, and promotion of improved decision-making within groups, teams, and organizations as a whole. By combining theory and practice, this experiential workshop provides participants with the skills to change their personal and professional relationships.
Free Payment Plan Program

Payment Plan Program is now available for ALL of our workshops!


Company of Experts, Inc. is pleased to offer a Payment Plan Program as a manageable alternative to paying your workshop registration in a lump-sum payment. Our Payment Plan Program allows you to pay your workshop registration over a number of weeks/months, interest free.


Enrollment in our free Payment Plan Program will reserve your seat(s) in the training of your choice. Your reserved seat(s) permit you to receive all the benefits of registered participants, such as access to any pre-workshop readings, materials and activities.  Learn More>>  

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 for more information.

In This Issue
New to the AI Community
Can Appreciative Inquiry Transform Your Health? It Did For David Cooperrider
10 Things Extraordinary Bosses Give Employees
Don't Just be Happy, Inspire Happiness
8 Essential Elements for Finding Fulfillment at Work
The Art of Revising Your Inner Storytelling
A Scientific Reason to Stop and Smell the Roses
Appreciative Team Building: Creating a Climate for Great Collaboration
Mindfulness Training Catches On In College
The Future of Your Business Depends on Curiosity
Leaders Engage the Hearts and Minds
Appreciative Inquiry Coaching Training (AICT)
Introductory AI Workshop: Creating What Will Be
New Payment Plan Program
Hosting Opportunities
Free Downloads
Upcoming Events
Online Videos Worth Watching
LinkedIn Conversations
Webinar Recordings Available
Visit Our Websites
Free Downloads:
Leadership Excellence (March 2012) - Highlighting Appreciative Inquiry
By: Various Authors 

The Neuroscience of Leadership
By: David Rock & Jeffrey Schwartz

Aligning Strengths Through Appreciative Inquiry
By: Nancy Stetson

Managing with the Brain in Mind
By: David Rock
Upcoming Events:
Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry: Creating What Will Be
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada  
Dates: May 5-6, 2014 

Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT) 
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada  
Dates: June 23-26, 2014  
View Event Page >> 

Appreciative Inquiry Coaching Training (AICT) 
Where: Cape Town, South Africa 
Dates: June 23-27, 2014   

Department Chair Institute (DCI)
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada  
Dates: July 28-30, 2014  

Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry: Creating What Will Be
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada  
Dates: August 18-19, 2014 

Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT) 
Where: Cape Town, South Africa 
Dates: August 25-28, 2014   

Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT) 
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada  
Dates: September 16-19, 2014  
View Company of Experts' Entire Event Calendar
here >>
Recent Tweets

Building a healthier relationship with yourself includes creating intentions of "what you want more of"....  

As a leader, how do you bring out the best in others?


6 Ways To Fall In Love With Your Job All Over Again.  


: How does your workplace culture impact communication?  

 Videos Worth Watching

Every Child a Talker - Appreciative Inquiry at Work  

Description: Robbie Macpherson shares a story about infusing AI into his work. 


Whole Systems Healing - Interview with Diana Whitney  

Description: An interview with Diana Whitney about Whole Systems Healing and Appreciative Inquiry.


Appreciative Inquiry in the Working Place 

Description: Prof. John Hayes discusses Appreciative Inquiry and its use in the workplace.  


Every Kid Needs a Champion 

Description: A call to educators to believe in their students' potential. 


Description: In this fast-moving & entertaining talk, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that actually happiness inspires productivity
LinkedIn Conversations:
Is it Time to Reframe How We Introduce AI to Clients?
We are so passionate about AI and experience tremendous outcomes. How do we gather our best moments for those new to AI? To help them over the fear of introducing this "radical" approach? I would love to hear how you introduce AI. What moments, words or actions have created the highest level of energy (buy-in)? What have you contributed to this excitement? How do we take those moments of high energy and heighten our individual successes?

As AI practitioners we spend a lot of time helping others discover their positive core (i.e. their strengths, best practices, positive attitudes, knowledge, skills, capabilities, etc.), but we don't always get the opportunity to discover our discuss our own. I'm curious to know how you discovered your own positive core and what you'd say is one of your greatest strengths.

How Do You Deal with Resistance?
Have any of you gone into an organization who resisted using AI? If so, how did you overcome the resistance? Also, I am curious how you were able to get your foot in the door to discuss the benefits of using AI.


We invite you to join our LinkedIn Group called "Discovering Appreciative Inquiry". It is an open group that allows participants to ask questions and share stories in regards to AI. All are welcome!

Webinar Recordings Available 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.   

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