Tag Archives: Cheri Torres

Join the Conversation: AI in Schools

Our proposal for the 2012 WAIC was accepted. Next stop, Belgium. 

The Center for Appreciative Inquiry, a branch of the Company of Experts, is pleased to announce that its proposal, “The Macon Miracle: Connecting Strengths, Reinventing Education, and Helping Children Flourish”, was accepted for the 2012 World Appreciative Inquiry Conference in Ghent, Belgium.

This year’s World Appreciative Inquiry Conference (WAIC) emphasizes Appreciative Inquiry (AI) as “a theory and practice of connecting people and generating new possibilities”. In 2011, we had the opportunity to work with Bibb County School District in Macon, Georgia. The Macon Centreplax Arena was filled to near capacity with almost 4,500 people in attendance. Participants consisted of internal and external stakeholders, such as: teachers, janitorial staff, bus divers, parents, community members, and city and state officials. This is the largest AI Summit to date!

Superintendent Dr. Romain Dallemand’s mission was to design a new educational system with the collaborative efforts of the community at large. “Our District and community must decide where it wants to be 20 and 50 years from now, and that journey begins with building a new education system that meets the need of all children,” says Dr. Dallemand. “The new system will be built with the engagement of our entire community because that is the only way in which it will be successful.”

Using Appreciative Inquiry as our tool, we facilitated large and small group sessions to discuss the future of the District and community, as well as to begin identifying the goals, ideas, and strategies that would define “The Macon Miracle.” Our workshop proposal for WAIC noted that workshop participants will learn how the large-scale summit was organized, what emerged from the two days, and where the school district is headed next. In addition, workshop participants will engage in conversation around AI and strength-based schools, positive school culture, and innovative practices in teaching and learning from around the world. We invite those attending to join us in these exciting discussions.

We will keep you updated on the time and location of our presentation as details unfold.

Learn more about the ‘Macon Miracle’:
Visit the Macon Miracle landing page.
View videos from the Core Team and Summit here.
View pictures from Day 1 Summit here.
View pictures from Day 2 Summit here.

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.

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.

From Perfection to Sustainable Growth: Practicing the Art of Appreciative Inquiry

Webinar Overview:

Built to last is out . . . Designed to Evolve is in.  The notion of perfection can only exist in a static world.  We live in complex, dynamic times and only organizations and communities that are designed to evolve will be capable of sustainable growth.  This webinar explores four basic capacities necessary for self-evolving systems. Participants will leave the webinar with materials that will support interpersonal practices that support collaborative learning and innovation.

Designed For:

Managers, supervisors, CEOs, anyone working in an organization

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Introduction, practices and exercises associated with each of the four META capacities: Multiple ways of knowing, Engagement & accountability, Thinking together, and Acting collaboratively.
  2. Learn practical ways to take the “META practice” into the workplace and life.
Duration: Approximately 1 Hour
Price: $9.99 USD (for webinar recording only)
[paid-downloads id=”3″]

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.

Cheri holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a specialization in Collaborative Learning from the University of Tennessee. She also holds an MBA, a Masters in Transpersonal Psychology, and level II certification in Spiral Dynamics Integral. She serves on the board for the Media Arts Project of Asheville, NC and has authored numerous books and articles including The Appreciative Facilitator: Accelerated Learning Practices, From Conflict to Collaboration, and Dynamic Relationships: Unleashing the Power of Appreciative Inquiry in Daily Living. She also co-designed and patented Mobile Team Challenge, an award-winning, portable low ropes course.  She is a member of the Society for Organizational Learning, the Taos Institute, the American Association of School Administrators, the International Organization for Noetic Sciences and Spiral Dynamics Integral.

Engaging in Difficult Conversations: Discussing What Matters Most

Webinar Overview:

There are certain conversations we all dread, such as delivering bad news, discussing sensitive subjects, confronting unprofessional behavior, or revealing unfavorable performance reviews. Regardless of the topic, difficult conversations occur at all levels of an organization. While it may be tempting to ignore the problems or delay the conversation, disregarding critical issues only creates additional problems and conflict – often resulting in a loss of productivity and engagement. Working in today’s competitive, fast-paced environment requires a broad foundation of leadership, communication, and people skills. The ability to engage in and facilitate difficult conversations effectively is one of the many challenges faced by many workers today.

This webinar offers a participative environment to demonstrate how practicing Appreciative Inquiry can help you solve problems, address issues, and engage in the important, crucial discussions we try so hard to avoid. Register today for this webinar and learn how to turn challenging conversations with difficult people into a foundation for improved relationships, enhanced morale, and increased productivity.

Designed For:

Individuals in all levels of an organization who wish to take a leadership role in creating and facilitating positive organizational culture and effective relationships are invited to join this webinar.

Learning Outcomes:

  • More mindful of daily conversations that create/maintain organization or community culture.
  • Reflect on the value of intentional conversation.
  • Identify what creates a culture of welcome that supports learning, innovation, and collaboration.
  • Identify types of conversations, including the important difficult conversations that are often avoided.
  • Address difficult conversations using Appreciative Inquiry and reflective practice.
  • Handle conflict and feedback in constructive and generative ways.
Duration: Approximately 1 Hour
Price: $9.99 USD (for webinar recording only)
[paid-downloads id=”8″]

Presenter:

Cheri Torres, PhD, 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.

Appreciative Inquiry and Families: Parents and Teenagers

Webinar Overview:

It’s easy to be appreciative and talk about best experiences when children are young and when everything is going well.  The challenge is being Appreciative when things get tough. This webinar explores concepts that will support families when parenting is most challenging.  A simple set of practices will fortify you and allow you to continue to parent with a heart at peace.

Designed For:

Primarily for parents with teenagers or individuals raising teenagers.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Shift your frame of reference in the heat of any moment in order to come from a place of connection and heart
  • Speak in ways that invite your teen to shift their frame of reference and connect with you
  • Engage in ways that add value, maintain boundaries, and enforce consequences without building walls
Duration: Approximately 1 Hour
Price: $9.99 USD (for webinar recording only) [paid-downloads id=”4″]

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.

Inquiry Based Leadership

Developed with Kentucky Community & Technical College System (KCTCS)

Kentucky Community & Technical College System (KCTCS) has embraced the Appreciative Inquiry (AI) process as a planning tool for moving our organization forward.  Appreciative Inquiry is the study and exploration of what gives life to human systems when they function at their best.  Within KCTCS , individuals from each college and the System Office (SO) have been trained to facilitate activities using the appreciative process; AI has been successfully used with the 2010-16 KCTCS Strategic Planning Process; KCTCS leadership, including the President’s Leadership Team and the KCTCS Board of Regents, have been trained in the Appreciative Inquiry 5-D (Define, Discover, Dream, Design, Deliver) Process.  Collectively, hundreds of KCTCS employees have participated in Appreciative Inquiry activities.

In an effort to immerse Appreciative Inquiry as a planning tool across KCTCS, an opportunity is being created for SO managers and supervisors.  As a group that is critical to the overall success of KCTCS becoming AI, employees are invited to enhance their core interpersonal skills, learn additional techniques to manage change and innovation, increase the positive impact they have on KCTCS, and investigate new methods to manage performance.

Two Programs:

Creating our Future Together with Inquiry-Based Management

Creating our Future Together with Appreciative Inquiry

Programs Includes:

Two days of on-site introduction to Appreciative Inquiry and 6 months of coaching. Coaching will be provided to teams in the form of 30 minute live webinar sessions that are scheduled bi-weekly. These coaching session will enable teams to increase the practice of Appreciative Inquiry in their daily work.

Program Facilitator: Cheri Torres
Cheri-Torres1What might be possible if community and organization members were fully engaged and using their strengths to collectively achieve shared visions?

This is the question that motivates Cheri Torres and has her focused on collaboration. Given current global challenges, Cheri uses strengths-based organizational design practices to help clients respond effectively to increasing levels of complexity in their environments and growing demand for innovation and change. Her strategy is to expand collaborative capacity in communities and organizations using Appreciative Inquiry, Sociotechnical Systems Design, and Experiential Learning.  She does this by partnering with her clients to intentionally design workplace environments, multi-stakeholder conversations, organizational systems and individual and team training to maximize value for all stakeholders.

Her experience has taught her that systems and events that are intentionally designed for collaboration elicit our inherent collaborative capacity, regardless of our differences in background, views, or values. Expanding that capacity through lessons and intentional practice leads to increasing competence in thinking and working together with joy and creativity, resulting in sustainable innovation and ever-evolving excellence.

View Cheri Torres’ Full Profile >