Tag Archives: appreciative inquiry workshops

Is “Why” an Appreciative Question?

A few days ago I shared a fascinating HBR article on LinkedIn titled, Become a Company That Questions Everything. The article talks about how companies should encourage curiosity in the workforce by inviting employees and other stakeholders to ask questions. The article itself has a large graphic of the word “why”. As I shared the article on our various social media outlets, one person asked me if “why” is an appreciative question. I stopped what I was doing just so that I could let that question sink in. I mean, I believed it could be, depending on the context in which it is used but I was curious as to what others thought.

After pondering the question for a day or so, I posted the question on various LinkedIn groups I am connected to. The question spread like wildfire. I was honored that so many people took the time to share their thoughts and experiences. The discussions that emerged were engaging and insightful.

Most of the responses I read agreed that while “why” might not be the first choice in questions we ask our clients, it could, however, be appreciative depending on the context, tone, intention, and the level of trust between the inquirer and the client. In my work with Appreciative Inquiry, I have learned that crafting questions, so that they are both appreciative and meaningful to the client, is more of an art form than methodology. Our success as practitioners lies in our ability to recognize which type of question will work best for the situation. Many of you provided great examples of appreciative “why” questions. Some examples of appreciative “why” questions included, but were not limited to:

  • “Why do you think this works so well?”
  • “Why do we feel great when we accomplish something as a team?”
  • “Why do you think you are at your best when you do something that you enjoy?”
  • “Why was ________ a success?”
  • “Why do you feel you learned so much from this challenge?”
  • “Why it is important for you to accomplish this?”
  • “Why am I seeing so many great traits in my partner now?”
  • “Why am I feeling so much more confident now?”
  • “Why is this pursuit becoming alive for you?”

One person wrote, “When using ‘why’ to draw out the best potential in something it helps to invigorate imaginations”; another wrote, “Asking ‘Why’ can produce deeply reflective insight into the drivers for the envisioned future. It can also help define the ‘alchemy’ of what works really well.” According to the Constructionist Principle of Appreciative Inquiry, we live in a world created through our social discourse; that “our story is our perspective, and there are an infinite number of perspectives.” I believe “why” when used appropriately, can help us to peel back the subconscious layers of our mind to reveal our core values and beliefs. In my pursuit to become more mindful and appreciative, I keep a daily gratitude journal. While I ask myself the common “who, what where, when and how” questions, I am often called to reflect on the ‘why’. I find myself reflecting on questions like, “Why do I feel so good about myself now?” or “Why is it important to reflect on the positive in this situation?” The answers to questions such as these result in a change in my perspective or a positive shift in my reality. As new information becomes available, I think it may be important to draw out such answers that may only surface as a result of the use of “why” questions.

As practitioners we must remain mindful that the questions we ask are fateful. The moment we ask a question, we begin to create change. What questions are you asking? What change are you creating? Words create worlds. As one person shared, “Like everything metaphysical the harmony between thought and reality is to be found in the grammar of the language” – Ludwig Wittgenstein.

School District Engages 4,300 in Creating Future Through Appreciative Inquiry

The Macon Miracle initiative to be shared during global AI conference

Participants at the World Appreciative Inquiry Conference (WAIC) will have the opportunity to learn about the largest known face-to-face Appreciative Inquiry summit held in a school district in Macon, Georgia.

Called the Macon Miracle, the Bibb County School District used Appreciative Inquiry (AI) to bring together 4,300 people in creating its strategic plan.

Dr. Romain Dallemand, superintendent of the district, championed the effort. He was hired in February, 2011, and wanted to design a new educational system with the community’s collaborative efforts.

The strategic plan was intended to guide change and improvements for the next five years. These changes are centred on ensuring all children receive high-quality education to prepare them to be competitive and successful in a global economy.

Judy Godfrey, Bibb County School District director of professional learning, was involved with the whole process and says she was “totally” new to AI.

The first thing she noticed about the strengths-based approach to organizational development was how it helped ensure communication was thorough and timely, she says, which is an important part of any change initiative. Read Full Article>>

E-Reading

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Stories of Positive Change in the Community College: Appreciative Inquiry in Action
Author: Nancy Stetson  ISBN: 0615237932
Community colleges face an unknown future, one that seems to promise continuous, deep, rapid and often turbulent change. Appreciative Inquiry is a powerful approach for nourishing creative and innovative change to meet these times.
Price: $4.99 USD (for electronic version of book)
[paid-downloads id=”12″]

Executive Leadership Development

Leading the change from the top is essential to the success of the any organizational Culture Transformation; in fact it is essential. Culture change is possible only when senior leadership is fully on board, modeling the new culture and holding everyone accountable to new ways of being and doing. Our program for executive leaderships is customized to fit an organization or individual’s needs, goals and visions.

Designed to build Executive Leadership understanding of the practice of generative engagement in the workplace and expand their capacity to lead a strength-based organization. This program includes Executive Coaching, Leadership action plan (professional and personal), skill building through daily practice as well as networking with other Executive Leaders.

Our world is increasingly subject to failures that require systems-level and cross-systems-level thinking and approaches. The consequences of any decision can ripple with unprecedented speed across business ecosystems the way the recent economic crisis has impacted nearly every market (IBM CEO Report of 2010).

Contact us at the office at (702) 228-4699 or email Kathy at Kathy@CompanyofExperts.net today for an initial FREE consultation to discover how we can help you design a customizable Executive Leadership Development program for your organization.

Strength Based Leadership: Positive Approaches for Outstanding Performance

Webinar Overview:

Who we are when we are at our best?  How do leaders and managers learn to discover and leverage their own strengths, capture the human energy within their organizations, and create cultures that help people perform at their best? This program helps participants understand and leverage personal strengths and discover ways of maximizing the strengths of those around them. We’ll explore:

  • The four primary sources of the positive, appreciative, strengths-based movement, and the value of each
  • The business case for this approach to management and leadership
  • Developing an “appreciative eye.”
  • Strengths spotting: discovering others’ strengths and capabilities
  • Capitalizing on the strengths of others; using strengths to build high performing teams
  • Positive approaches for developing a culture of high performance

Designed For:

Leaders, managers, and employees in all levels of an organization.

Learning Outcomes:

Participants will:

  • Understand sources behind the research and theory of positive, appreciative, strengths-based leadership
  • Understand the assessments available for strengths-based work and positive leadership
  • Learn about the business case for these approaches to leadership and management
  • Learn about specific tools for being a positive, appreciative, strengths-based leader/manager
Price: $9.99 USD (for 60-minute webinar recording only) [paid-downloads id=”5″]
Price: $9.99 USD (for 90-minutes webinar recording only) [paid-downloads id=”6″]

Presenter:

Ray Wells, Ph.D., is based in suburban Philadelphia, and specializes in strengths-based approaches in designing leadership, team and organization development programs for clients.  Over the past 22 years, his firm has customized programs and projects for nearly 100 non-profit, business, and education clients in organizations ranging from just a dozen people to the Fortune 500, from the smallest private schools to the Ivy League, from single-office non-profit agencies to the largest corporate health systems.

Ray has been deeply engaged in Appreciative Inquiry work since his initial exposure in 2000.  As a consultant and facilitator, Ray is in the midst of designing his seventh major Appreciative Inquiry Summit.  They include extensive “interventions” and multi-day events for the United Way of Southeast Pennsylvania, North Penn United Way, Penn State University, the U.S. Navy and a large South Jersey transportation company. He is also a co-owner of Appreciative Inquiry Consulting, LLC.

Managing Time on the Run

Webinar Overview:

Do you feel overloaded with things to do? Has your schedule become too complex? Work, school, unemployed, parents, children – how do you find me time when you have so many responsibilities?

In this webinar we will explore ways to balance our home and work.  How we manage our time is increasingly complicated.  Creating that balance is within each of us to do. What are the options for managing time in a rapidly changing World? Your time is valuable – learn how to understand the time management choices you make. Time management should not bring you down – learn some skills to bring back that vibrancy to your life.

Designed For:

Anyone who feels stressed by their daily lives might find the tools and skills learned in this workshop a benefit.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn your time management strengths
  • Learn how you approach planning and managing for your time
  • Develop some new techniques and skills to make wise time choices
Duration: Approximately 1 Hour
Price: $9.99 USD (for webinar recording only) [paid-downloads id=”10″]

Presenter:

Kathy Becker is the president of the Company of Experts, Inc. The Company of Experts has served clients in both the public and private sectors since 1989.  With over thirty years of professional experience in K-12 and higher education, she has served as a Human Resources Officer, Staff Development Coordinator and Equal Employment Opportunity Officer. She has had direct responsibility for labor contract negotiations, sexual harassment training, discrimination investigation, mediation and conflict resolution, discipline and grievance, professional training and leadership development.

Kathy is a trained Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator/Trainer and incorporates AI into her consulting, training, and online teaching. With her background in the public and private sectors as well as a strong commitment to customer service and developing learning organizations, Kathy brings real-world experience to her online workshops. Some of the workshops include: Appreciative Inquiry, Equal Employment Opportunity, Diversity Hiring, Leadership, Customer Relations, Conflict Resolution, Succession Planning and Creating Change through Dialogue.

Managing Conflict at Work

Webinar Overview:

Conflict has a negative impact on organizations and people including productivity, cooperation, communication and the quality of life at work and home (in spite of our best intentions – we take work home and likewise we bring home to work).  Human interaction is at the core of our existence; we are all interconnected. Since conflict – differing opinions, goals, needs, desires, values, beliefs, attitudes or perceptions of entitlement – is a fact of life, the manner in which we manage conflict affects the quality of our interactions, our lives, our communities and our world.

Designed For:

Supervisors, managers and employees retooling for the new economy. Small or larger organization – business, non-profit, military or education, or those seeking a new career.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn to  Identify and analyze Conflict in the Workplace – is it good? Is it bad?
  • Learn and understand factors that influence our perception and reaction
  • Analyze a current conflict situation
  • Learn strategies for managing conflict
  • Learn how your communication style can achieve dramatic results. It is not about difficult situations or difficult people.
  • Understand how to Improve productivity by effectively handling conflict on and off the job.
  • Gain skills to contribute to an open, collaborative work environment.
Duration: Approximately 1 Hour
Price: $9.99 USD (for webinar recording only) [paid-downloads id=”9″]

Presenter:

Kathy Becker is the president of the Company of Experts, Inc. The Company of Experts has served clients in both the public and private sectors since 1989.  With over thirty years of professional experience in K-12 and higher education, she has served as a Human Resources Officer, Staff Development Coordinator and Equal Employment Opportunity Officer. She has had direct responsibility for labor contract negotiations, sexual harassment training, discrimination investigation, mediation and conflict resolution, discipline and grievance, professional training and leadership development.

Kathy is a trained Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator/Trainer and incorporates AI into her consulting, training, and online teaching. With her background in the public and private sectors as well as a strong commitment to customer service and developing learning organizations, Kathy brings real-world experience to her online workshops. Some of the workshops include: Appreciative Inquiry, Equal Employment Opportunity, Diversity Hiring, Leadership, Customer Relations, Conflict Resolution, Succession Planning and Creating Change through Dialogue.

Learning to be Curious: the Heart of Appreciative Inquiry

Webinar Overview:

Appreciative Inquiry is not just about asking positive questions, its also about learning to see the world with fresh eyes, learning to open your mind, heart and will and from that place work with others to allow the future that wants to emerge to come through.  Peter Reason suggests we develop an attitude of inquiry about all of life and especially about our own perceptions and beliefs.  This highly experiential webinar will engage you in activities that will inspire self-reflection and leave you seeing the importance of engaging from a place of curiosity.

Designed For:

Everyone is welcome to participate in this webinar.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Develop an attitude of inquiry
  • Expand your capacity to open your mind, heart and will
  • Challenge your own perceptions and assumptions
Duration: Approximately 1 Hour
Price: $9.99 USD (for webinar recording only) [paid-downloads id=”1″]

Presenter:

Cheri Torres, Ph.D., has more than 30 years experience helping people and organizations expand their capacity for collaboration and excellence. She has worked in the public and private sectors in the US and around the world training trainers and facilitators, facilitating small and large groups, and providing professional development and organizational design consultation.

Cheri’s professional focus is grounded in the field of personal/ collaborative learning. Cheri helps people and organizations shift their workplace practices and design their systems for evolving sustainability. She believes that in today’s world, excellence is a function of learning and innovation and that these are natural outcomes for an appreciative inquiry-based, outcomes-focused organization. She partners with schools and organizations to expand their capacity for multiple ways of knowing, engagement and accountability, thinking together, and acting collaboratively. As a result people change they way they work together and how the organization is designed: a collaborative learning community evolves marked by open and positive relationships and the alignment of social and technical systems.

Helping Students Master the Habits of Effectiveness

Webinar Overview:

Since the publication of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People in 1989, the work of Stephen Covey has enabled millions to move from dependency on others, to independence, and on to interdependence. With his first book, and the 2004 sequel The 8th Habit serving as the foundation, this webinar provides valuable applications to today’s college and university students. Having employed Covey’s work in his leadership courses and workshops, Dr. Lyons has attained widespread feedback from students and faculty alike confirming the value of these proven habits.

Designed For:

Faculty, staff, counselors, advisers, and anyone who works directly with students.

Learning Outcomes:

Participants will gain insights into the viability of the Covey approach for achieving improved self-discipline and accountability among their students.

  • Learn and practice strategies for becoming more proactive.
  • Encourage students to begin every important task by focusing on the end they seek to attain.
  • Understand and practice time management, Covey style.
  • The power that is achieved by continually pursuing “win-win” outcomes.
  • Understand the power of listening; learning the benefits of seeking to understand the other person before expecting that person to understand us.
  • Learn and practice strategies and resources that enhance synergy.
  • The benefits of sharpening the saw, i.e. proactively improving one’s own performance.
  • The immediate and long-term benefits of finding one’s voice, then helping others find theirs.
Duration: 1 Hour
Price: $9.99 USD (for webinar recording only)
[paid-downloads id=”7″]

Presenter:

Your webinar presenter, Dr. Richard E. Lyons, has served as a professor of management, department chair, instructional dean, corporate trainer, faculty and staff developer, and independent consultant.  His grounding in sound research and quality management practices, as well as deep learning from his varied experiences, has enabled him to exceed expectations of clients systematically.

Richard launched his consulting and presentation practice in 1999, shortly after the publication of his first book, The Adjunct Professor’s Guide to Success. He has since authored three other books – Teaching College in an Age of Accountability, Success Strategies for Adjunct Faculty, and Best Practices for Supporting Adjunct Faculty. His extensive research on these topics and familiarity with best practices that align with that research undergird his consulting. The strategies that he espouses have been well received not only by clients, but also by audiences in dozens of presentations at varied academic conferences.

Appreciative Inquiry for the Learning Organization

Webinar Overview:

This one-hour webinar introduces the practice of Appreciative Inquiry as fundamental to collaborative learning and innovation. You will expand your understanding of the integral nature of systems, people, and outcomes and learn how inquiry aligns all three with organizational success. You will also learn how to build your own capacity to influence learning and innovation by practicing AI within the context of the META capacities (Multiple ways of knowing, Engagement and accountability, Thinking together, and Acting together).

Designed For:

Senior and mid-level managers, anyone interested in developing learning within an organization.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn how to access Multiple Ways of Knowing in order to improve decision-making, planning and learning practices that will increase engagement and accountability.
  • Identify, recognize, and utilize tools and practices that support thinking together.
  • Understand how cycles of action and reflection can build the capacity for acting collaboratively.
  • Understand the integral nature of systems, people, and outcomes and how inquiry aligns all three with learning and innovation.
Duration: 1 Hour
Price: $9.99 USD (for webinar recording only)
Please call office 702.2248.4699

Presenter:

Dr. Cheri Torres has more than 30 years experience helping people and organizations expand their capacity for collaboration and excellence. She has worked in the public and private sectors in the US and around the world training trainers and facilitators, facilitating small and large groups, and providing professional development and organizational design consultation.

Cheri’s professional focus is grounded in the field of personal/ collaborative learning. Cheri helps people and organizations shift their workplace practices and design their systems for evolving sustainability. She believes that in today’s world, excellence is a function of learning and innovation and that these are natural outcomes for an appreciative inquiry-based, outcomes-focused organization. She partners with schools and organizations to expand their capacity for multiple ways of knowing, engagement and accountability, thinking together, and acting collaboratively. As a result people change they way they work together and how the organization is designed: a collaborative learning community evolves marked by open and positive relationships and the alignment of social and technical systems.