Company of Experts Logo

Always Appreciating What's Good...

March 2014

Company of Experts Consulting Services


The angst of change is all around us. Today's workplace requires that we do more with less and we must quickly adapt or risk becoming obsolete. When considering a change initiative, what do you, or your organization, focus your time and energy on? 


Jim Pulliam, a retired college president, said it best. Reflecting upon his leadership role, he told me that so often conversations are centered around "things, buildings, materials, and resources. But, not much was said about what was most important - the collective WE." That is what he identified as the importance of an Inquiry (or any intervention) - it is not necessarily about the outcomes, but about providing "VOICE" to all -- collectively, what do WE want more of? Together how can WE make this happen? It is about us, all of us. 


"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things." ~ Niccolo Machiavelli


Warmest Wishes,

~ Yours friends at the Company of Experts
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.

  • Zack Coapland, Debbra Esparza, and Sandra Velazquez, "Collaborating Across Silos"
  • Stephanie Au, "Appreciating One Another"
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. 
Launching Soon: Expert on Call Directory
Did you set a goal this year to start a new career as an independent business consultant or to grow the business you have?

This year, we are rolling out our updated Expert on Call Directory. You will find many new features to build your profile online, build your brand, connect with other professionals world-wide and have a larger reach to prospective clients.

With Company of Experts, having a professional and affordable web profile is one less thing to work about!  We see out seek out exceptionally qualified people whose values are consistent with the founding of this company -- people who pursue new challenges, value relationships, have high standards and ethics and who "want to make a difference" in the world. 

You can preview a few of our Expert on Call profiles here.
Watch for future emails from us as we will be announcing the launch of this new service soon!
Organizational Generativity: The Appreciative Inquiry Summit and a Scholarship of Transformation
Appreciative Inquiry has touched and inspired the work of thousands who apply its development principles in a wide range of settings including industry, government, spiritual and not-for-profit organizations.

The Advances in Appreciative Inquiry series facilitates an emergent dialogue within the social sciences and supports innovative and challenging scholarly work. It is dedicated to the advancement of Appreciative Inquiry as an approach to organizational and human development, and as an interdisciplinary, non-deficit theory of positive change processes in human systems. Guided by the ethos of Appreciative Inquiry, the book series supports an ongoing, distributed inquiry into the true, the good, the better and the possible. It is dedicated to advancing a 'scholarship of the positive' and 'positive scholarship.'

This volume aims to push the frontiers and solicit new tools and insights for expanding the state-of-the-art applications of Appreciative Inquiry. It revolves around three fundamental aspects of organizational generativity, namely: generative knowledge and organizational life, collective action and the appreciative inquiry summit, and sustainable inter-generative dynamics.

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!!
What is Inquiry-Based Science?
What is inquiry-based science & how does it help students? Read on to find out... 


Inquiry-based science adopts an investigative approach to teaching and learning where students are provided with opportunities to investigate a problem, search for possible solutions, make observations, ask questions, test out ideas, and think creatively and use their intuition. In this sense, inquiry-based science involves students doing science where they have opportunities to explore possible solutions, develop explanations for the phenomena under investigation, elaborate on concepts and processes, and evaluate or assess their understandings in the light of available evidence. This approach to teaching relies on teachers recognizing the importance of presenting problems to students that will challenge their current conceptual understandings so they are forced to reconcile anomalous thinking and construct new understandings. Read Full Article>  
Crowdsourcing Appreciative Inquiry and New Plants

What better way to crowdsource than to use Appreciative Inquiry as your guide!   


Crowdsourcing continues to be quite the buzz word in both business and across the internet as endless examples of people coming together to collaborate and solving problems continues to deliver extraordinary outcomes. New insights into why crowdsourcing works also continue to pop up paying homage to the importance of unlocking the power of diversity in ways that bridge gaps between social networks and, yet many of these publications and projects continue to focus crowds on solving problems.


What if solving problems is not the only way?  And what if on line communities don't generally play well together?


Make no mistake, the future of crowdsourcing on a massive scale is contingent upon future technology adoption.  Sure the tech savvy and gamers of the world can make huge impacts but what if distrust and concerns over security harbored by the every day person continues to grind the pace of adoption?  This is not a technology issue it is a people issue. Read Full Article>  

Why Organizations Fail
Many organizations believe that people are driven by money; yet studies show social needs matter more than physical needs in many situations.

The technology to see very small things up close showed us we had much wrong about health. The technology to see big things far away showed us we are not the center of the universe.

More recently, a technology called fMRI, that lets us collect images of oxygen use inside an active brain, has shown us that some of our long-held beliefs about human motivation may be wrong.

Matthew Lieberman, one of the founding fathers of a field called social neuroscience, tells this story in his new book, Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect. As Lieberman explains, for a long time we believed that people were rational, logical agents, driven by self-interest, greed, and desire. While this is not untrue, it is only half the story. It turns out that people have another driver that is of equal, if not greater, importance: the drive to be social..
Read Full Article>
Appreciative Inquiry in Healthcare
We've trained many healthcare workers to facilitate Appreciative Inquiry. Here's why AI is a MUST in healthcare.

As an engineer, turned physician, I was well-versed in problem solving and risk identification. After all, when Edward de Bono wrote "Six Thinking Hats" he was thinking of physicians when he described "black hat" thinking - an overly pessimistic and critical thinking style. Great for keeping patients safe and bridges from falling down - but the worst approach to imagining better futures! Anyone who has proposed ideas for service development to a group of doctors knows how quickly their good ideas are shot down.


So I was deeply skeptical on first learning about Appreciative Inquiry (AI). How can a process of deliberately ignoring problems yield anything useful in healthcare?


The first answer is that it works. Magically. The authors illustrate their text with many deeply moving stories but it's their success in building collaboration among widely diverse participants that is striking. And the process works in any setting - the cardiovascular operating room team, interventional radiology, the medical school admissions committee, the rehabilitation hospital, the school of nursing, the department of neurology - to quote a few examples. Other departments clamor to be the next in line, to join in to this energizing and exciting process. Read Full Article> 

Sustainable Cleveland 2019: A Community of Dream Makers Creating a Thriving Green City
Article shares how Appreciative Inquiry can support transformation of a city. 


The people of Cleveland are mobilizing around a compelling vision to transform their communities into a flourishing city. They have the courage to dream a magnanimous vision for their city in the face of tremendous challenges. Their mission reads:

"Sustainable Cleveland 2019, is a 10-year initiative that began in 2009, that engages people from all walks of life, working together to design and develop a thriving and resilient Cleveland region that leverages its wealth of assets to build economic, social and environmental well-being for all".


Last October, David Cooperrider, invited me to attend the 5th annual Summit of Sustainable Cleveland 2019. David is a Professor at Case Western Reserve University and the founder and Chair of the Fowler Center for Sustainable Value. I serve on the Fowler Center Advisory board and I have been fascinated by the stories David has shared with me about Cleveland's cross-sector community transformation journey. Read Full Article>  

Changing the Approach to Change: Lessons from the 8 Principles of Appreciative Inquiry
No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. - Albert Einstein

Sometimes people have really bad days. I caught the train back from the airport the other day and there was a woman talking loudly on the phone about her really bad day. I didn't pay attention to the particulars, but her challenges involved a lost phone (later found), a missed flight, and a fight with airline staff who she promised to report to the highest authorities. One comment I kept hearing over and over was that she was having "the worst day ever'.


As she shared her woes with her friend on the phone and the rest of the carriage, I thought about how easy it is to find problems. Indeed, we are conditioned to look for problems. Politicians make a name for themselves by opposing the other party's ideas. The media generates revenue from sensationalist headlines that highlight transgressions from commercial and political leaders. Change initiatives start because something is broken and needs to be fixed. Entire industries have been created to mitigate risk, litigate wrongs, and in general to find, stop, cover up, excuse, and solve problems.


A challenge to our propensity to find problems is the notion that "what we focus on, we create". We will always find problems if we are looking for them. Those who are really proficient can even create problems that do not yet exist just so those problems can then be fixed. A problem with problems is that while they can be compelling motivators to initiate change, few people are inspired long-term by a vision to "stop having a problem". Read Full Article>  

To Change Behavior, Change Your Focus

What are your currently focusing your attention on?


Recently, one of our clients, the president and CEO of a mid-size company, sent me an email after participating in a development group with his senior leadership team that was focused  on collaboration and emotional intelligence.


His message went something like this, " A situation came up at work where I had the opportunity to put into practice some of the information we discussed and realized how hard it is to change and break old habits."  He also asked a question that many clients ask -  how do I remember to remember these things that we're talking about?"   Essentially the question becomes -  how do I become more  conscious of my intentions and my behavior?


It got me thinking about how easy it is to become captive to our internal narratives and reflexive in our behavior.  The question compelled  me to go deeper into what it is I do as a  coach to support  people to break through habituated, unproductive behavior. Read Full Article>  

What is Design? Unlocking the Genius From Within

The power of design comes from the fact that creativity, collaboration, meaning making, problem solving ... are inherently part of who we are as human beings.


Todd Johnston was a designer before designing was cool.  For decades, he and his colleagues have practiced design to accelerate innovation for corporations and countries.  His team designs the collaborative sessions at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where they are often tasked to help leaders tackle the biggest challenges. Next week, Todd makes his debut as the Head of Design for our Global Innovation Summit in Silicon Valley.


We set a simple challenge for ourselves: if we believe that innovative ecosystems can be designed across entire countries, then surely we can create an ecosystem in a single conference.  Therefore, working with Todd, we have turned the conference into a giant design laboratory.  Instead of listening to one-way lectures, our participants will be working in small startup-like teams to tackle real problems in real time.  Instead of talking in abstraction, our participants will be building tangible, 3D prototype solutions to tackle systemic challenges.


I wanted to share some of Todd's insights on design with you, as they are particularly interesting and relevant to anyone trying to accelerate innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic value creation. Read Full Article>   

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
Don't Just be Happy, Inspire Happiness
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
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  

Appreciative Inquiry Coaching Training (AICT) 
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada  
Dates: November 3-7, 2014   
View Company of Experts' Entire Event Calendar
here >>
Recent Tweets

Creating positive change in the world requires that we only be responsible for the world that lies within us.  

Love this excerpt, "Think of as an emotional investment - one with significant & immediate returns."


Does your organization take an Appreciative Approach in its internal ?  


: What do you believe about the of

 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.   

Follow Company of Experts

Like us on Facebook  View our profile on LinkedIn  Follow us on Twitter  View our videos on YouTube

Follow The Center for Appreciative Inquiry

Like us on Facebook  View our profile on LinkedIn  Follow us on Twitter  View our videos on YouTube

Follow The Department Chair Institute

Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter 

Join Our Mailing List