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Always Appreciating What's Good...

October 2013

Company of Experts Consulting Services


I am reminded daily  of a quote "energy flows where the attention goes". This past week, I observed such energy. We had an incredible team of Trainers from South Africa facilitating our Appreciative Inquiry Coaching Training (AICT). The participants were an amazing group of professionals learning, sharing, practicing  and applying Appreciative Inquiry in their Coaching/Consulting practices. In leaving the training I was energized as a result of what I had observed ~ the coalescing of a group of individuals creating a future through their appreciative lenses. 


Currently, we are reviewing our 2014 event calendar. We are seeking out new training locations and opportunities. Any thoughts, ideas and suggestions from you are always welcome.  


We invite each of you to join in the high energy and well-being that gratitude, compassion, and generosity brings to each of us. As always, we thank each of you for sharing your stories of success - seeking the high points to learn, adapt, and thrive - your stories always bring such light into our office and to our work. Please keep sending us your personal stories of success via email, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter

As always we appreciate the good work all of you do.

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.

  • Pam Cash, "Building on the Strengths of the Undergraduate Service Staff"
  • Kate Larose, "Small Shifts, Seismic Difference, and Barroom Chickens"
  • Menasha Nikhani, "Prevention of Violence Through Research, Education, and Practice"   
  • Jan Van Den Braak, "Meaningful Work"
  • Jim Weeks, "Serving, Empowering, and Aspiring,,,to do Something Bigger Altogether"  
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. 
9 Ways to Get Others to Buy In on Change
Convincing others that change is essential is one of a leader's most challenging tasks. Follow these 9 best practices to get people's buy-in.


"The best way to predict the future," said Peter Drucker, "is to create it." Many leaders don't have a problem envisioning an inspiring future for their company. They know the changes they need to make in order to realize their vision. They have a clear road map of the journey ahead.


The biggest speed bumps on the road to that future, however, are communicating the change and getting the buy-in from all those affected by the change.

People resist change for a myriad of reasons. A lot of of these reasons are emotional, such as anxiety about the unknown; fear that the change will result in a loss of control or status; stress that the change will result in a greater workload or new adaptations; worry about appearing inept or having to learn new things; and memories of previous change experiences that caused an upheaval. Read Full Article> 

Can Playing with LEGOs Make You More Creative?
Creativity is in decline around the world, but a new school built by LEGOs focuses on play might unlock the secret to a solution.

If successful companies and societies of this next century are defined by their ability to innovate--a trope repeated constantly in business seminars, surveys, and speeches--then the U.S. may be headed for a rough time: On average, Americans' ability to think creatively has declined.


This trend has been called "the creativity crisis," and was defined by a major study in 2011. Researchers looked at a common measure of creativity in 300,000 kids and adults over time and found that, unlike IQ scores, creativity had been declining since 1990. The effect was most marked in elementary-school-age kids.


Why exactly creativity measures are declining is still anyone's guess, although evidence and intuition points to the growing emphasis on testing in education as a factor. Kids are taught to learn by understanding "the one right answer" they need to find, and what they need to do to find it. (On tests of how kids do at brainstorming ideas, 98% of three-year-olds register as "creative geniuses." By the time they are 25? Only 2%). Read Full Article>

Strengthen and Sustain Culture with Storytelling
When a new hire joins your company, what do they take away from their first impression of your organization?

In most process-driven companies, the first impression is usually a twelve-inch binder full of procedures, checklists, and forms that tell employees exactly what to do, and what not to do. In product-driven companies, new hires might get a sample of your company's flagship offering - a shiny laptop, a sporty bike, a sweet box of chocolates - along with that twelve-inch binder. If your company's product isn't tangible, that binder might come with a pile of collateral on the strategic/integrated/value-added/flexible/contextual/virtual/something-as-a-service your company sells. I don't know about you, but the only thing I'd be interested in is the chocolate.

The good news is there's a better way to communicate your company's values and engage your employees: infuse your culture with the power of storytelling. Some of the longest lasting and most inspiring organizations in the world use story to educate, invigorate, and motivate their staff. I know the word "story" has become a buzzword, but that's just story with a little "s." What I'm talking about is story with a big "S": the art of communicating your ideas using a persuasive narrative structure. It's a story that has a beginning, middle, and end, and uses dramatic principles of tension and contrast to move your audience to a different state of thinking, feeling, and acting.. Read Full Article> 
HR Roundtable: Why Don't We Focus More on Generational Strengths?

It has been literally months since the last HR Roundtable summary, and I want to thank you for the short respite. Please note that the forum is still strong and growing, but I needed a few months to recharge.


So in September, the HR Roundtable in Cincinnati reconvened to once again tackle the hot topics of HR! This month's topic was Generational Strengths. Did you catch that? The focus was on what makes us great together vs. what differentiates us.

Steve opened  the discussion with a true brain teaser - When did we start having people from different generations in the workplace at the same time?

The answer is FOREVER! This is not a new issue, but those of us in HR treat it as this amazing revelation that people who are at different ages are working together. We need to discontinue the "dichotomy" approach of the generations and come together. Read Full Article>
5 Questions Change Agents Use to Move People Forward
As leaders and managers we are often in the position of instigating or shepherding change efforts. Whether you are leading a process improvement team, implementing a new policy or system, or even driving cultural changes, you are, in effect, a change agent. You are introducing a new way of doing things, which means adopting new behaviors and letting go of old habits and patterns. 


As leaders we have likely cultivated our own change hardiness, which may be one of the reasons we have risen through the ranks. We have learned ways to adapt to change and we are more or less comfortable with uncertainty. But as surely as the wind blows, as we work to be agents of change, we will be confronted with those steadfast change resistors who seem to make it their mission to dig in their heels and stay put. Read Full Article> 

Practical Guide - Gratitude Exercise
Context: This exercise was used with a group of managers as part of a workshop on positive and appreciative leadership. It is an effective way into the virtuous practices aspect of flourishing organizations and into the topic of authentic leadership. It could just as well be used as an exercise in individual executive coaching or development.

Objective: The brief moment of reflection on blessings that the exercise invites helped these leaders remember that they are connected to, and dependent on, many others. Some left resolved to make their (previously somewhat hidden?) sense of gratitude and appreciation more obvious. This exercise could be built on with individuals with the suggestion of the keeping of a gratitude journal. (The clue is in the title, it's a journal in which you write down things you are grateful for everyday. This exercise is proven to lift mood in a short space of time). View Exercise> 

How Inquiry-Based Learning Works with STEM

Learning through inquiry is not a new concept. Here's how Inquiry-Based Learning works w/ STEM.


Learning through inquiry is not a new concept - at all. Much of the more general life- learning that we do as humans is based on inquiry. Here's a basic example: As a baby, you saw a 'thing' across the room. Your little brain wondered what it was, so you crawled over to it and inspected it. You looked at it, touched it, and determined you wanted to play with it.


While babies may not be able to construct thorough explanations and communicate their questions and findings, the inquiry based learning concept is definitely there. As babies grow and turn into students, this style of learning can serve them well, especially in science. The handy infographic below takes a look at the steps of learning through inquiry, as well as some statistics on the importance of science education in the future. Keep reading to learn more. Read Full Article>> 

How to Lead From a Place of Gratitude: Six Lessons

As entrepreneurs, our personal happiness, the way we listen to and react to our staff, and the way we shape our own role at work all have profound effects on our companies, and ultimately, on how they grow. But lasting change is difficult.


Not long ago, I was playing around on Twitter, searching for people with influential business and leadership profiles who could review and possibly share my last Forbes piece. Author Robin Sharma read and enjoyed the article, and challenged me to read his new book as a result. After looking at his site, I knew we were in alignment, so I dove into his new book, The Leader Who Had No Title. Below are six key lessons I learned from Robin that you can apply to your own business success. Read Full Article>> 

Positive Interventions

With its focus on nurturing talent and empowering individuals to leader more fulfilled. joyful lives, the relatively new field of positive psychology offers a framework well-suited to use by professional coaches in their practices. Its value isn't limited to personal coaching, either; Positive psychology interventions are equally powerful when used by coaches who serve clients in a business or organizational setting. 


Positive Psychology and Coaching

Coaches have access to a variety of positive psychology interventions that have been intentionally and systematically developed and validated by researchers in the field of psychology. Coaches can also tap into the ongoing and ever-evolving research underway in the field of positive psychology, as well as the growing body of research into positive psychology's applications to coaching. Read Full Article>> (page 14 of e-magazine

3 Insights From the Frontiers of Positive Psychology
Fifteen years after emerging as a major scientific movement, it's clear that positive psychology -- the study of what brings happiness and meaning in life -- is not just a fad. The field is reaching new levels of breadth and depth: Having established its core themes and principles during its first decade, it is now getting deeper and more precise in its exploration of what it takes to truly flourish in life.


The growth of positive psychology was evident last month at the International Positive Psychology Association's (IPPA) third bi-annual World Congress on Positive Psychology in downtown Los Angeles. A truly international crowd gathered for four days of workshops and symposium on everything from neuroplasticity and mindfulness to positive organizations and positive psychology in film. Read Full Article>> 

Appreciative Inquiry Coaching Training (AICT)
Infuse Appreciative Inquiry into your coaching 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." Learn More> 
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. Learn More>>
**New** 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
9 Ways to Get Others to Buy In on Change
Can Playing with LEGOs Make You More Creative
Strengthen and Sustain Culture with Storytelling
Why Don't We Focus More on Generational Strengths
5 Questions Change Agents Use to Move People Forward
Practical Guide - Gratitude Exercise
How Inquiry-Based Learning Works with STEM
How to Lead From a Place of Gratitude: Six Lessons
Positive Interventions
3 Insights From the Frontiers of Positive Psychology
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:
Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT) 
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada  
Dates: November 12-15, 2013  

Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry: Creating What Will Be
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada 
Dates: January 13-14, 2014   

Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT) 
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada  
Dates: February 10-13, 2014  

Appreciative Inquiry Coaching Training (AICT) 
Where: Cape Town, South Africa 
Dates: March 24-28, 2014   

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

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

Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT) 
Where: Cape Town, South Africa 
Dates: August 25-28, 2014   
View Company of Experts' Entire Event Calendar
here >>
Recent Tweets

What you believe about yourself determines your destiny more than any other factor.  

Have you practiced any random acts of kindness recently? I would love to hear some great ideas!! :)


3 Phases of Effective Within  


Beautiful sunrise in Las Vegas for the launch of Coach Training led by our South African trainers  

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.  


The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Description: An interesting look at what motivates us as told through a short animated drawing.


Brene Brown on Joy and Gratitude

Description: Brene Brown talks about the relationship between joy & gratitude & offers tips on how to cultivate more joy in your life.  


Description: In this fast-moving & entertaining talk, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that actually happiness inspires productivity
LinkedIn Conversations:
Best Book on SOAR?
I'd like a book on SOAR. What are other books apart from the "Thin Book on SOAR"?

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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