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Always Appreciating What's Good...

April 2013

Company of Experts Consulting Services


The angst of change is all around of. 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 (CAIF) to its growing AI family. 

The individual(s) 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. 
Appreciative Inquiry Coaching Training (AICT)
Infuse Appreciative Inquiry into your coaching practice to strengthen the positive core of both you and your clients.

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.

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 a coach and 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.

 Appreciative Inquiry Coaching Training ICF CCE

The Appreciative Inquiry Coaching Training (AICT) is approved by the International Coach Federation (ICF) for 25.4 Continuing Coach Education Units (CCEUs) with the following breakdown: 21.6 Core Competencies and 3.8 Resource Development. CCEUs give coaches an opportunity to continue their professional development. Coaches will learn how to use the AI process, originally designed for use with an organization, system or group, as a process for coaching someone one-on-one.  Learn More> 
Introductory AI Workshop: Creating What Will Be

The Center for Appreciative Inquiry is happy to announce the release of its 2-day introductory Appreciative Inquiry course "Creating What Will Be".

This two-day introduction Appreciative Inquiry (AI) workshop 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>
How to Create a Happy Workplace Using Positive Psychology

Happy teams are successful teams. And if you want a happy team then you need to make people feel good.

Sarah Lewis is a chartered psychologist and author of 'Positive Psychology at Work' and she offers nine positive psychology tips to make your team feel great.

1) Start meetings with a round of success stories - give people the opportunity to share the best of their week.

2) Build the sharing of great stories about the achievements and success of the organisation into your induction programme. Get the owners of the stories to share their best moments of working for your company. This will help to inspire new recruits.  Read Full Article>> 

What is True Achievement?
What does achievement mean to you? Great article on celebrating successes on all of life's achievements 

Is achievement popularity? Is it fame? Is it wealth? Is it academic excellence? Is it achievement in a specific skill or branch of knowledge? Is it success? Is it recognition? Is it social approval? Is it affluence? Is it influence?


Achievement in a specific and limited sense may be any and all of these.But does achievement begin or end with any of these? What is the essence of achievement? What is the hallmark of all forms of achievement?


The hallmark and essence of every form of achievement and peak performance, to my mind, is a capacity for complete absorption in the task at hand. Read Full Article>> 

How Reframing a Problem Unlocks Innovation

Taking a different perspective can lead to stunning breakthroughs in any industry, writes Tina Seelig in InGenius.


"What is the sum of 5 plus 5?" "What two numbers add up to 10?"


The first question has only one right answer, and the second question has an infinite number of solutions, including negative numbers and fractions. These two problems, which rely on simple addition, differ only in the way they are framed. In fact, all questions are the frame into which the answers fall. And as you can see, by changing the frame, you dramatically change the range of possible solutions. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, "If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first fifty-five minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes." Read Full Article>> 

Understanding the Power of Beliefs

What is remarkably strong enough to divide and connect people from all walks of life if given the privilege to do so? Beliefs. Are these statements imaginable for our society, concerning beliefs?  


We are one conviction away from experiencing a global awakening.  


One shared belief on a universal scope of respect towards fellow humankind, with no expectations of needing the other to change anything, would instantly change the world.


If so, how is it then, that something that has no substance, no pulse, no blood, or life has so much power that it regulates whether or not we live in harmony with one another? In this post, I hope to clarify essence of this often reverenced and highly controversial topic, which, can border being an addiction, or a common day prejudicial practice at times, depending on who is speaking about it. Read Full Article>> 

Leaders Can Inspire Others by Connecting to a Story

"The ultimate impact of the leader depends most significantly on the particular story that he or she relates and the reception of the story on the part of the audience."  Howard Gardner, Leading Minds 


The key to leadership as well as to following is the effective communication of a story. If you want to be an effective leader, you have to master the art of storytelling that inspires others to become part of a dream.


Communicating stories to a group of people is a fundamental part of any leader tool box to move people into action. Ultimately, leaders achieve their vision through the stories they relate to others. Read Full Article>> 

Inquiry is a Good Friend in a Crisis

Inquiry is a good friend in a crisis; for inquiry is a way of "being" that invites dialogue with ourselves & with others.  


There is one thing certain about crises:

  • First: they come unexpectedly
  • Second: we tend to ignore the beginnings
  • Third: we fight them initially
  • Fourth: we finally surrender
  • Fifth: Inquiry is the best way to handle the uncertainty a crises causes.

Engaging in inquiry means to be willing to look into what we do not know or understand, and to search for the coherence of a situation that we dislike. When we are courageous we can even find out what others see that might differ from our own perception. Read Full Article>> 

Conversations Can Save Companies
Authentic dialogue is the foundation of Appreciative Inquiry, is it any surprise that conversations can save companies?

Each period of business history has its own representative corporate type. The 1960s were the age of the conglomerate. In more recent decades, the start-up has achieved iconic status. But the kind of organization that marks our own historical moment is, arguably, the turnaround company. In almost every sector, there are once-dominant enterprises that find themselves on the wrong side of a shift in customer demand or the emergence of a disruptive technology. You know their names: Hewlett-Packard. Starbucks. Best Buy. Research in Motion (Blackberry). RadioShack. And, most recently, JC Penney.


So what does it take for a leader to pull a company out of the doldrums, or indeed out of real or potential bankruptcy? It starts, no doubt, with a sense of urgency. In that respect, a turnaround effort differs from a standard organizational change initiative. Change happens slowly, whereas, in a turnaround situation, time is of the essence. A company that's going in the wrong direction or losing money needs to change, and change fast, or soon it will be past the point of no return. Decide, act, decide, act: That must be the order of the day. Read Full Article>>  

Is It True? Can You Absolutely Know That It's True?
In Appreciative Inquiry, the Constructionist principle states that our "reality" is subjective & is constructed from past experiences. How then can we decipher what is true or what we "perceive" to be true?


Is it true? Can you absolutely know that it's true? I love these two questions, which are the first two of the 4 questions that make up 'The Work' - a process created by, or through, Byron Katie. So many of the stresses, strains, unresolved conflicts that we experience in life arise because we think something is 'true' when in fact it is just a belief that we hold that we have never questioned. We hold on strongly to those beliefs because often they underpin the identity we have created for ourselves and so, if we were to let go of the belief, we can fear losing a sense of who we 'are'.


And so we hold strongly to beliefs such as "I am......strong, weak, clever, stupid, ugly, beautiful, wise, shallow, tall, short" and often don't recognise that our attachment, almost our addiction, to our beliefs can be incredibly stressful to maintain in the presence of something that challenges their 'truth'. Read Full Article>> 

Why Positivity is So Essential in the Workplace
Most of us are familiar with the terms "economic capital" or "human capital", but have you considered the notion of "psychological capital" and how it relates to your work life? Researchers studying the application of Positive Psychology to the workplace have carefully considered this idea - as a growing body of evidence demonstrates that a positive mindset can not only affect our attitudes toward work, but the outcomes which follow. Indeed, the "psychological capital" that we bring to the table, can have a significant impact upon work and career.


Recently we discussed, how the tenets of positive psychology might provide a guide to help us achieve greater levels of workplace happiness. Overall, the movement stresses the identification of what is "right" with our work lives - building on positive contributors (emphasizing our strengths, celebrating smaller successes, gratitude). Central to this theory is the mechanism by which we build our "psychological resources" and how we utilize this collected energy to digest and cope with our work lives. Read Full Article>> 

Fostering Teamwork in the Workplace

Encouraging teamwork among staff members will help heighten efficiency and productivity.  


How do you know if your company is doing well? Do you look at how much cash is coming in, or how many projects you've finished or how many deals you've closed? If your business is out of the red, does that mean your company is healthy?


Positive cash flow, liquidity, and a first-rate clientele - having all these are important and visible signs that a business is in good condition. Even so, things that are not so obvious matter too. In the workplace, for instance, what kind of environment do you foster? Are team members given opportunities to move through the ranks? Is the employee turnover high? Do workers have time to socialize, or is their job consuming their lives? Read Full Article>> 

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
Introductory AI Workshop: Creating What Will Be
New Workshop: Appreciative Inquiry Coaching Training (AICT)
Introductory AI Workshop: Creating What Will Be
How to Create a Happy Workplace Using Positive Psychology
What is True Achievement?
How Reframing a Problem Unlocks Innovation
Understanding the Power of Beliefs
Leaders Can Inspire Others by Connecting to a Story
Inquiry is a Good Friend in a Crisis
Conversations Can Save Companies
Is it True? Can You Absolutely Know That It's True?
Why Positivity is So Essential in the Workplace
Fostering Teamwork in the Workplace
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)
Location: Edmonton, Canada 
Dates: April 29 - May 2, 2013  
View Event Page >>  

Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT) 
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada 
Dates: May 20 - 23, 2013  
View Event Page >>  

Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT)
Location: Cape Town, South Africa 
Dates: May 27 - 30, 2013  
View Event Page >>

Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry: Creating What Will Be 
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada 
Dates: June 3-4, 2013  

Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT) 
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada 
Dates: July 9-12, 2013  

Department Chair Institute (DCI) 
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada 
Dates: July 29 - 31, 2013  

View Company of Experts' Entire Event Calendar
here >>
Recent Tweets

Words Create Worlds � is out!  

Compassion in Business Makes Sense; article explains how compassionate workplaces are good for employee health &...

Great article ties Positive Deviance with Appreciative Inquiry  


Shape Your Identity Or It Will Shape You  


Daily exercise: don't just ask your kids what they learned today -- ask yourself, too    

Videos Worth Watching

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:

Using AI with Young Employees with High Staff Turnover

I'm working with a department where they have young and non-college degree (high school mainly) employees. The company is struggling about the high turnover about this level employees and they need help about this. Help! 


When top management does not uphold the organization's values, getting them to commit to a change agenda can be challenging, especially if staff believe they don't "walk the talk." What ways have you found to overcome this?

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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