Tag Archives: inquiry based leadership

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 >

Webinar FAQs

What is a webinar?(Two definitions are found below)From Wikipedia: “Web conferencing is used to conduct live meetings, training, or presentations via the Internet.In the early years of the Internet, the terms “web conferencing” was often used to describe a group discussion in a message board and therefore not live. The term has evolved to refer specifically to live or “synchronous” meetings”.

From Webopedia “Short for Web-based seminar, a presentation, lecture, workshop or seminar that is transmitted over the web.  A key feature of a Webinar is its interactive elements — the ability to give, receive and discuss information. Contrast with Webcast, in which the data transmission is one way and does not allow interaction between the presenter and the audience.”

What are the benefits of a webinar?

Cost-Effective: No travel required.  An engaging way to provide your team with a variety of professional development opportunities for one low price!  WE encourage teams of five to seven to participate in any one webinar. This is an ideal number of people to collaborate on projects and further the learning with practical application on the job or at home.

Easy: You will receive a detailed list of instructions via email a week prior to the webinar.  If you run into any problems, we’re always here to help. Feel free to contact us at 702.228.4699 or email your questions to Kathy at Kathy@CompanyofExperts.net

Interactive: Chat online with your presenter, participate in online polling questions, discuss specific situations with your team members, and receive implementation strategies (included when appropriate).  You can even join a forum to continue the discussion with your presenter and webinar participants after the webinar.  Join our forums at http://www.companyofexperts.net/forum/

Practical: Our webinar sessions focus on the most critical and relevant issues facing organizations and individuals today.  Our primary goal is to provide participants with the information, training and skills necessary to immediately implement positive change at their organizations.

Expert Presenters: Our Presenters are subject matter experts with outstanding credentials and are recognized by their peers for their knowledge in the subject area.

How does a webinar work?

Webinar participants log into the webinar site with a username and password sent via email; we will send you information about the webinar via email approximately 2 days prior to the presentation. Once logged in, you are able to see the PowerPoint slides, ask questions and make comments via chat. For the audio portion, participants call in using a toll-free number.

Is there a recording available?

We do record some of our webinars. If your webinar has been recorded, you will receive a link to the recording approximately one week after the recording along with the log-in information.

What equipment is required?

A phone line and a computer with an Internet connection will be required to participate in the webinar.  If there will be a large group present, we recommend Presenter phone and a LCD projector or large monitor to project the webinar easily for the entire team.

How will I use these webinars?

Self-Improvement: The webinars provide real-world experience to improve your skills whether you are unemployed, underemployed, seeking a job promotion or want to increase your ability to work with others.

Team Building: Attend a live webinar and debrief immediately following with a team to apply skills or knowledge to real-life situations.

Professional Development: Plan a training or professional development opportunity to include a live webinar – brainstorm and discuss implications for your organization. We set up the process and provide you with the information you need such as feedback from participants, attendance, etc. to support your professional development efforts.

New Employee Training: Include these webinars in your new employee training program to ensure consistency.

Implementation and Follow-Up: Use the guide and evaluation materials provided to plan, implement, and track your progress.

The 8 Habits of Highly Effective Students


graduating-studentsSince 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 lively 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

Materials Required:

  • Computer with Internet access
  • A PowerPoint presentation and PDF handouts may be distributed to participants.

Facilitator Bio:

Your facilitator, 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.… More>

Additional Information:

To learn more about the price, availability, or to register for this webinar, please click here

Space is limited, guarantee yourself a spot today!

Business Roundtable Launches Broad-based Commission to Address Needs of American Workers

The Springboard Project will recommend how to best equip the current and future U.S. workforce for success in the post-recession economy

Washington, D.C. – Today Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. corporations, announced the launch of The Springboard Project – an independent commission that will develop innovative approaches to help American workers acquire the new skills and the education needed to thrive in the 21st century’s evolving labor market. The commission, which will bring together a diverse group of education and business leaders, labor experts, union chiefs, academics, foundation heads and government representatives, is holding its first meeting today in Washington, D.C.

“Given the transformations in the current economy and the long-term impact they will have, this is the moment for business and government to join forces with labor and the online community to make sure that our workforce has the training and resources to meet the demands of an ever-changing marketplace,” said William D. Green, chairman & CEO of Accenture and chairman of The Springboard Project. “I am looking forward to working with such an esteemed and talented set of experts to tackle the unique challenges the American worker faces today and will continue to face even after the recession passes.”

Today’s meeting will officially kick off The Springboard Project’s nine-month mandate to develop innovative and feasible recommendations to the Obama administration, Congress, the private sector, labor and individuals.

“American business leaders are optimistic about the future of our economy and the long-term prospects of American workers,” said Harold McGraw III, Chairman of Business Roundtable and Chairman, President and CEO of The McGraw-Hill Companies. “America’s talented workforce and strong history of innovation have helped us overcome economic hardship before, and we have assembled some of the nation’s best minds to help identify practical and productive ways to ensure today’s workers are equipped to help us succeed again.”

The Springboard Project will:

  • Assess current government services for those looking for work, education and training examine model programs commission research
  • Identify how to harness technology and other resources to help students and workers better adapt to labor market changes so they can secure and maintain employment throughout their working lives

The Springboard Project will issue its recommendations at the end of 2009.

More information about The Springboard Project can be found at www.businessroundtable.org/springboard.


Business Roundtable. Business Roundtable Launches Broad-based Commission to Address Needs of American Workers. Business Roundtable Resource Center. Kirk Monroe, 13 Mar. 2009. Web. 17 Nov. 2009.

The New Untouchables

Last summer I attended a talk by Michelle Rhee, the dynamic chancellor of public schools in Washington. Just before the session began, a man came up, introduced himself as Todd Martin and whispered to me that what Rhee was about to speak about — our struggling public schools — was actually a critical, but unspoken, reason for the Great Recession.

There’s something to that. While the subprime mortgage mess involved a huge ethical breakdown on Wall Street, it coincided with an education breakdown on Main Street — precisely when technology and open borders were enabling so many more people to compete with Americans for middle-class jobs.

In our subprime era, we thought we could have the American dream — a house and yard — with nothing down. This version of the American dream was delivered not by improving education, productivity and savings, but by Wall Street alchemy and borrowed money from Asia.

A year ago, it all exploded. Now that we are picking up the pieces, we need to understand that it is not only our financial system that needs a reboot and an upgrade, but also our public school system. Otherwise, the jobless recovery won’t be just a passing phase, but our future.

“Our education failure is the largest contributing factor to the decline of the American worker’s global competitiveness, particularly at the middle and bottom ranges,” argued Martin, a former global executive with PepsiCo and Kraft Europe and now an international investor. “This loss of competitiveness has weakened the American worker’s production of wealth, precisely when technology brought global competition much closer to home. So over a decade, American workers have maintained their standard of living by borrowing and overconsuming vis-à-vis their real income. When the Great Recession wiped out all the credit and asset bubbles that made that overconsumption possible, it left too many American workers not only deeper in debt than ever, but out of a job and lacking the skills to compete globally.”

This problem will be reversed only when the decline in worker competitiveness reverses — when we create enough new jobs and educated workers that are worth, say, $40-an-hour compared with the global alternatives. If we don’t, there’s no telling how “jobless” this recovery will be.

A Washington lawyer friend recently told me about layoffs at his firm. I asked him who was getting axed. He said it was interesting: lawyers who were used to just showing up and having work handed to them were the first to go because with the bursting of the credit bubble, that flow of work just isn’t there. But those who have the ability to imagine new services, new opportunities and new ways to recruit work were being retained. They are the new untouchables.

That is the key to understanding our full education challenge today. Those who are waiting for this recession to end so someone can again hand them work could have a long wait. Those with the imagination to make themselves untouchables — to invent smarter ways to do old jobs, energy-saving ways to provide new services, new ways to attract old customers or new ways to combine existing technologies — will thrive. Therefore, we not only need a higher percentage of our kids graduating from high school and college — more education — but we need more of them with the right education.

As the Harvard University labor expert Lawrence Katz explains it: “If you think about the labor market today, the top half of the college market, those with the high-end analytical and problem-solving skills who can compete on the world market or game the financial system or deal with new government regulations, have done great. But the bottom half of the top, those engineers and programmers working on more routine tasks and not actively engaged in developing new ideas or recombining existing technologies or thinking about what new customers want, have done poorly. They’ve been much more exposed to global competitors that make them easily substitutable.”

Those at the high end of the bottom half — high school grads in construction or manufacturing — have been clobbered by global competition and immigration, added Katz. “But those who have some interpersonal skills — the salesperson who can deal with customers face to face or the home contractor who can help you redesign your kitchen without going to an architect — have done well.”

Just being an average accountant, lawyer, contractor or assembly-line worker is not the ticket it used to be. As Daniel Pink, the author of “A Whole New Mind,” puts it: In a world in which more and more average work can be done by a computer, robot or talented foreigner faster, cheaper “and just as well,” vanilla doesn’t cut it anymore. It’s all about what chocolate sauce, whipped cream and cherry you can put on top. So our schools have a doubly hard task now — not just improving reading, writing and arithmetic but entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity.

Bottom line: We’re not going back to the good old days without fixing our schools as well as our banks.


Friedman, Thomas L. “The New Untouchables.” Nytimes.com. New York Times, 20 Oct. 2009.

Web. 17 Nov. 2009. <http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/21/opinion/21friedman.html>.

Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry

Build Organizational StrengthsOverview:

How does your organization become a creative and innovative leader for the new world order? Corporations, NGO’s,  Education, and the miliary are using Appreciative Inquiry to create postive change within their organizations.  This short introduction to Appreciative Inquiry will show you why so many organizations are looking to this whole human systems approach to change their organizational culture, to creatively engage stakeholders and magnify their results.

Designed For:

Professionals involved in the following areas: business, education, government, health-care, human services, non-profit organizations, and management and organizational development consultants.

Learning Outcomes:


  • Understand the theory and practice of Appreciative Inquiry
  • Find out what makes AI so different?  Understand the D’s
  • Understand strength-based vs. deficit-based assessment of individuals and organizations
  • Learn how organizations are planning for their future by eliciting vision and hope, building on strengths, and inspiring constructive engagement and action

Material / Technical Requirements:

  • Computer with Internet access
  • Computer with the ability to read and print Microsoft Office Documents/Applications (i.e. PowerPoint, Word, PDF, etc.)

Faciliator Bio:

Kathy Becker worked in the California community college system for 27 years and served in staff and leadership positions in the library, disabled students and human resources, leaving the system as the first human resources officer for a new, rural college. As a student of the two-year system and as an employee both in the rural and urban college, Kathy was “bitten” early and has a passion for the collaborative learning environment.  Kathy has been certified by Company of Experts.net as an Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator.

Kathy served as the Chief Human Resources Officer, Staff Development Coordinator, Equal Employment Opportunity Officer, and had direct responsibility for contract negotiations, sexual harassment training, discrimination investigation, mediation and conflict resolution, discipline and grievance, management training, and leadership development. More>

Strategic Planning Using Appreciative Inquiry


A creative business team busy at a meetingAppreciative Inquiry is an approach to planning and positive change that has been used successfully in communities and organizations all around the world.  It is broad-based, highly participative, and energizing.  It builds new skills in colleagues and staff, develops new leaders, encourages a culture of inquiry, and helps create shared vision and purpose for your organization by building on your organization’s core values and strengths.  Perhaps most importantly-it leads to action, commitment, and results.

Designed For:

Professionals involved in the following areas: business, education, government, health-care, human services, non-profit organizations, and management and organizational development consultants.

Learning Outcomes:

Developing Your Organization’s Next Strategic Plan with Appreciative Inquiry will provide executive teams and planning committees an overview of how Appreciative Inquiry works and answer key questions, such as:

  • How is Appreciative Inquiry different from other planning processes?
  • What resources does planning with Appreciative Inquiry require?
  • Who gets involved and how?
  • How long does it take?
  • What is an Appreciative Inquiry “Summit” and how does my college host one?
  • What does a strategic plan developed through Appreciative Inquiry look like?

Material / Technical Requirements:

  • Computer with Internet access
  • Computer with the ability to read and print Microsoft Office Documents/Applications (i.e. PowerPoint, Word, PDF, etc.)

Richard Lyons

Richard Lyons

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.

Richard has presented on the campuses of community and state colleges, universities and proprietary institutions, in three countries.  Besides traditional institutions, these have included historically Black colleges and universities, historically women’s institutions, and those that serve significant populations of Native American, Hispanic and other diverse populations.  He also regularly utilizes webinars to deepen workshop participants’ mastery of critical learning outcomes. His travel experiences in over forty countries enable him to address issues in a global, futuristic context – a factor of increasing importance at many institutions.

Active throughout his career in professional organizations, Richard presently serves on the board of the North American Council for Staff, Program and Organizational Development [NCSPOD].

Richard earned his B.A. in Management and M.S. in Business Education at Western Kentucky University, and his doctorate in college teaching and curriculum at the University of Central Florida.

Hire This Expert >


  • Achieving improved accountability outcomes in instruction
  • Adjunct Faculty Issues
  • Alternative/Authentic Assessment
  • Board training and development
  • Change Management
  • Curriculum development
  • Customer service
  • Decision making
  • Department chair training and development
  • Eight habits of highly effective people
  • Experiential learning
  • Focus group facilitation
  • Interpersonal relations
  • Interviewing for long-term effectiveness
  • Leadership development
  • Learning styles of students
  • Listening for understanding and problem solving
  • Mentoring
  • Mission formulation
  • Presentation skills
  • Quality improvement
  • Strategic planning
  • Teaching styles [alignment with student learning styles]
  • Team building
  • Train the trainer workshops
  • Trust and relationship building

Online Workshop Feedback

We thank you for attending and participating in one of our online workshops. We value working with you and look forward to hearing from you. We have made this short – as we know how valuable your time is.


Thank you and have a wonderful day!

Webinar Feedback

We thank you for attending and participating in one of our webinars. We value working with you and look forward to hearing from you. We have made this short  – as we know how valuable your time it.

Thank you and have a wonderful day!