Our Leadership Team

The People That Make It Work
Ralph Weickel   |   Diana Whitney   |  Juan Carlos Obrador   | Tenny Poole   |   Amanda Trosten-Bloom   |   Dorothy Tsui   |   Kevin Real  |   Frank van Erkel  |  Loubna Zarrou


Ralph Weickel – President


Ralph Weickel is President of the Corporation for Positive Change (www.positivechange.org), founder of the Corporation for Positive Change – Europe and Performance Management.  CPC is a global Positive Change consultancy employing the methodology of Appreciative Inquiry and others strength-based methodologies to amplify performance and organizational strengths.

Bringing 30+ years-experience across a broad range of industries, Ralph and his Team guide organizations to identify and leverage core strengths to permanently improve performance and co-create flourishing environments.  CPC and its sister organizations specialize in co-creating success with organizations in the areas of leadership, organizational and team development, change initiatives, strategic planning, operational efficiency, employee engagement, and fostering an entrepreneurial spirit along with lean system implementation.  Ralph serves as an positive change executive coach known for his holistic and co-creative approach. Being a native of Germany, Ralph is also fluent in German, in addition to English.

Diana Whitney, Ph.D. – Founder, President Emeritus and Wisdom Keeper

Diana.headshotDiana Whitney is a global social entrepreneur. She is founder and president emeritus of Corporation for Positive Change, a global consulting cooperative; a founder of the Taos Institute, an international think tank dedicated to relational processes in business, education, families and communities; and a founding advisor to the United Religions Initiative, a global network of 530 interfaith cooperation circles working for peace and social justice.

Dr. Whitney is a positively powerful keynote speaker, whose messages of hope, positive change, and the call for appreciative leadership offer practical guidance for new ways of working, living and being. Diana’s unique style of ‘interactive storytelling’ inspires audiences from 50 to 1500 at national and international conferences and leadership symposiums in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. Diana’s presentations are rich tapestries of experience, research and innovative practices that transform leadership and enliven relationships.

Diana is a prolific, provocative and practical author. Her award winning books on Appreciative Leadership and Appreciative Inquiry, the revolutionary process she helped to develop, have been translated into over a dozen languages and are used as text books in business schools, universities and corporate learning centers around the world. The International Organization Development Network (ODN) honored Diana’s written contributions to the field with the Larry Porter Award.

As a master consultant, Dr. Whitney’s work spans the globe. Diana consults with executives and their teams in support of strategic planning and organization development, organization culture creation and transformation, and leadership capacity building. With over thirty years of experience, her clients include British Airways, Verizon, Johnson & Johnson, Merck SA, City of Regina, Calgary Health Region, UVA Health System, Idaho Department of Education, and the Sisters of Good Shepherd. The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) recognized her Appreciative Inquiry work at GTE (Verizon) with their award for Best Organization Culture Change.

Diana serves as Distinguished Consulting Faculty with Saybrook University, and a Ph.D. advisor with the Taos Institute. She is Expert Faculty for the NCR Picker Patient Centered Care Institute and a Fellow of the World Business Academy.

Dr. Whitney received her Ph.D. from Temple University in Organizational Communication. Her research on the dissemination of educational innovations was funded by the National Institute of Education and used to create an agenda for the development of educational R&D laboratories in the United States.

Diana Whitney’s legacy is apparent in the hundreds of thousands of people worldwide who work, live and lead using Appreciative Inquiry. She is described as one of the top five thought leaders in the field, forging a positive revolution that is radically transforming knowledge, understanding and practices in human organizing, leadership, and management – for the good of the people.

Juan Carlos Obrador – Principal

juan carlos.resizeJuan Carlos s a business consultant with experience in the mining world among other  industries, both in operations as well as in projects. He has more than 20  years of experience in companies such as Phelps Dodge Mining, Merck Sharp & Dhome, Antofagasta  Minerals and Komatsu Cumins. Founding chair of the Chile & Peru Center for Positive Change and member of the Executive  IODA Team (International Organization Development Association):

» Organizational Psychologist
» Master’s Degree in Human and Organizational Development (Gabriela  Mistral University, School of Advanced Studies in Organizational  Consultancy)

In 2016, Juan Carlos consolidated a network of change agents from Latin  America, aiming at gathering a group of talented senior professionals able to  collaborate in designing and implementing high quality solutions for its clients. Then the network experience was engaged to use methodologies  and specific tools for building the future through the identification,  multiplication of strengths and current capabilities, generating sustainable  results in time and developing the human talent within working teams.

As a consultant, Juan Carlos has developed long-term relationships with important national and multinational companies.

As an Integral Coach, he has conducted coaching processes for high executives; CEOs and Board of Directors, and General Managers of several companies.

As an expert in change management, Juan Carlos has lead important transformational processes from executive positions and as an external consultant.

Main topics of interest in the field of Organizational Development are:  Positive Change, Theory U, Open Space Technology, Cultural Change and Development, Leadership Development, High-performance Teams, Strategic Planning and Business Modeling.

Tenny Poole – Principal

tenny-pooleTenny Poole is founder of Positive Talent Strategies, a company dedicated to strategic human resources consulting and coaching, and Appreciative Inquiry consulting. Tenny is also founder and principal of West Coast Center for Positive Change, the premier positive change consultancy in California. Tenny’s 30 years delivering top-quality human resources services includes 10 years as Vice President of Human Resources for Experian Americas Credit business. In that time, she used Appreciative Inquiry to further the performance of technical, software development, purchasing, HR, and other functions. In particular, she was instrumental in the Experian’s ”Transformation of Human Resources” project that redesigned the function to deliver strategically focused HR services. Also while at Experian, Tenny was responsible for the design and implementation of a Human Resources function for the start-up of its’ off-shoring center in Santiago, Chile that employs over 500 employees. In addition, she supported a successful business expansion into Latin America and Canada. In 2000, Tenny was selected Human Resources Executive of the Year by the Orange County Affiliate of the National Human Resources Association for her work in developing her team, accelerating culture change and implementing new human resources strategies at Experian using Appreciative Inquiry.

Amanda Trosten-Bloom – Principal

Amanda Trosten BloomAmanda Trosten-Bloom is a widely acclaimed consultant, master trainer, energizing speaker, and pioneer in the use of Appreciative Inquiry for high engagement, whole system change. She builds results oriented partnerships with organizational and community leaders and teams in support of strategic planning, culture change and organizational excellence. Working across sectors in business, nonprofit and government organizations, her clients have included: Hewlett-Packard; the Unitarian Universalist Association; IHS; ACT; Hunter Douglas Window Fashions Division; the National Security Administration; Goddard Space Flight Center; The Denver Foundation; and the Cities of Boulder, Denver and Longmont, CO; Boulder County, CO.

Amanda is also co-author of Appreciative Leadership: Focus on What Works to Drive Winning Performance and Build a Thriving Organization (McGraw-Hill, 2010); the best-selling Power of Appreciative Inquiry: A Practical Guide to Positive Change (Berrett-Koehler: 2003 and 2010); Appreciative Team Development: Positive Questions to Bring Out the Best in Your Team (iUniverse, 2005); the Encyclopedia of Positive Questions – Volume One: Questions to Bring Out the Best at Work; and more than a dozen articles and book chapters.


TSUI Pui Yin Dorothy – Principal

Dorothy Tsui

Dorothy is a dedicated talent and organization development practitioner. Her broad portfolio includes clients from government agencies, nonprofits, and multinational corporations across industries in Greater China, Southeast Asia, and the United States. As the Principal of Greater China Center and Hong Kong Center for Positive Change, Dorothy designs and facilitates co-creative processes that are firmly grounded in the strength-based principles of Appreciative Inquiry for positive and lasting change. She trains and develops Appreciative Inquiry practitioners and consultants through intensive programs and one-on-one mentoring. She is a CPC leadership team member and serves as a Principal to support its development in Asia. Dorothy is the first Certified Learning and Performance Professional® (CPLP®) of the Association for Talent Development (ATD) in Hong Kong and has supported CPLP® candidates in Asia to go through the certification process. She is a Senior Action Learning Coach of the World Institute for Action Learning (WIAL) and the managing director of WIAL’s affiliate in Hong Kong.

Email: dorothytsui@positivechange.org
Website: www.positivechange.hk
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dorothytsui

Kevin Real, Ph.D. – Principal

Kevin Real, (Ph.D., 2002, Texas A&M University) is Associate Professor of Organizational Communication in the Department of Communication at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Real is engaged in research in healthcare, organizational design, and occupational safety and health. His research involves both quantitative and qualitative methodology. Dr. Real is interested in how appreciate inquiry and communication research can provide opportunities for improving everyday life for organizational members and stakeholders. His work has been published in Human Communication Research, Journal of Business and Psychology, Health Communication, Management Communication Quarterly, Journal of Applied Communication Research and the Handbook of Health Communication. Adding this research dimension provides the opportunity for Dr. Real and CPC to develop research-based metrics, facilitate the collection of data, and systematically analyze and document the outcomes of AI interventions. In collaboration with scholars at the Innovation Network for Entrepreneurial Thinking (http://ci.uky.edu/inet/), we are studying the outcomes of AI work in order to understand what works in authenticating the success of AI engagements.


Frank van Erkel – Principal

Frank van Erkel

Frank van Erkel has had extensive experience as (senior) administrative manager and leader of innovation projects in the public sector.

He has been leading governmental change and innovation for the past 20 years, both on national and local levels.

He is always looking for new ways to improve government, and connecting it to emerging developments in society. Frank is currently working for the municipality of Amsterdam and is owner of the ChangeLab, specializing in change management, appreciative inquiry and social and governmental innovation. He is a certified Executive Coach, and is presently working for a variety of organizations as such.

In recent years he has been working together with universities on societal change projects (Helsinki, Espoo, Malmo, Johannesburg) and co-founded the platform International Initiatives for Societal Innovation (I2SI).

Frank has worked at the Department of Environment (1989-1994) in the field of national policy for the living environment, and at the Department of Transportation (1994-2002), where he worked on and managed diverse projects in the area of interactive planning, innovation programs, strategy development, and scenario planning. Among other things, he set up the first ministry-wide innovation program (Roads to the Future), leading the change program to liquidate the task-oriented, reactive Civil Aviation Authority and set up a process-oriented and pro-active Directorate General of Civic Aviation.

In 2002 he became City-manager in Amsterdam for the district Geuzenveld and was responsible for reversing the downward spiral into social and economic decline and urban renewal in Amsterdam’s most deprived area. In 2008 he was one of the initiators of restructuring the Amsterdam administrative system and leading CEO for the merger of two city districts in 2010.
From 2010 till 2013, he was the City-manager of the Amsterdam East-district.
The last two years he was the program Director of Organizational Development for the city of Amsterdam to compel the city administration to be more flexible and responsive to the needs of its citizens and entrepreneurs.

In his free time he enjoys traveling and encountering different cultures. He loves to run the half marathon and scuba dive in tropical water. He also practices improvisational theater.


Loubna Zarrou – Principal

loubna.resize.leaderLoubna Zarrou has her own consulting firm SpottingPotential and specializes in appreciative inquiry, strength-based management and happiness. She consults, coaches and facilitates professionals and organizations in enhancing (work) happiness. She uses appreciative inquiry and positive psychology. She is regularly asked to facilitate workshops and speak at conferences. Loubna’s first job was a position where the job description had not yet been defined. This gave her the opportunity to discover her talents and the way to use them to add value to the organization. This lesson and insight she brought to the government organization where she has been working for the past 13 years. Loubna spent the first 11 years as an IT auditor, then later as a change manager.

At the moment she works for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment in the Netherlands and the municipality of The Hague. In both organizations she is involved in implementing social innovation and participates in various communities in this field. Loubna’s passion is contributing to the creation of flourishing work environments in which employees experience happiness. She has a sharp and analytical outlook, thinks several steps ahead and is solution-oriented. She is described by others as a warm, involved, enthusiastic and inspiring person. Her goal: to create a happy world.

Utility Finance Division

  • Strategic Focus:  Build an Executive Team – the Executive Team of this finance division of a major utility wanted to strengthen their strategic focus, decision-making ability and utilize team strengths

    Corporation for Positive Change Services: Lead consulting partner designed a two-day advance built on the principles of Appreciative Inquiry that brought the twelve-person team together.

    • Prior to the Advance, one-way interviews were completed with team members
    • The Advance was divided into four-parts replicating the 4-D process of Appreciative Inquiry
    • During the Advance, each ‘D’ was allocated roughly half a day with peer interviews beginning the two days
    • The Executive Team was paired into improbable pairs based on information garnered during the one-way interviews
    • The Interview Guide focused on questions of trust, decision-making and leadership
    • At the end of the two-days, each team member had specific action steps and the team had agreement on new operating behaviors

    Corporation for Positive Change Consultant: Ralph Weickel

    Results: The Executive Team became more focused in their decision-making while exhibiting a greater strategic focus.  This was evident in their meeting structure and performance, which became more productive and produced more consensus decisions.

    • Ripple Effects – Direct reports of the Executive Team collaborated more and sought out each other to address problems
    • Success Factors – The opportunity to have conversations and have a better understanding of each other’s strengths

British Airways, N.A.

  • british-airways-logo2-small-100x100Strategic Focus: To enhance service excellence by engaging employees in sharing best practices, envisioning opportunities, and self-organizing to design and implement customer service innovations.

    Project Brand: The Power of Two

    Corporation for Positive Change ServicesWe designed and facilitated a two-year process of Appreciative Inquiry into Service Excellence. Key milestones included:

    • Formation of a cross level, cross-functional core team.
    • Forty people met to for two days to select affirmative topics and draft an appreciative interview guide.
    • One hundred people were trained as interviewers.
    • Within six months nine hundred employees were involved in interviews.
    • Meetings were held in each of 18 airport locations to summarize interview results and prepare representatives to attend the Appreciative Inquiry Summit later in the year.
    • Ninety people participated in the two-day AI Summit.
    • Cross location, cross-functional innovation teams were formed and worked for three months making significant contributions to the organization in the areas of: happiness at work, continuous people development, harmony among work groups and exceptional arrival experiences.

    Corporation for Positive Change Consultants: Diana Whitney and Amanda Trosten Bloom


    • Significantly improved employee satisfaction as reported on the annual employee survey.
    • Dissemination of customer service best practices, especially those related to arrivals, resulted in improved service and customer satisfaction.

    Ripple Effects: Appreciative Inquiry became contagious. It was used to redesign HR processes, as well as to enhance employee engagement and to identify best practices within business development.

  • Sisters of Mary, Korea

    Strategic Focus: To inspire collaboration and innovation culture among the twelve institutions of Sisters of Mary by reviving the spirit of founder, Msgr. Aloysius Scwartz.

    Situation:   The Sisters of Mary (SOM) was established in 1964 in Busan, Korea, by Msgr. Aloysius Scwartz who served war orphans and the homeless since 1961. Now it has branches in Seoul Korea, Philippines, Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil.  The Sisters of Mary in Busan is composed of twelve institutions including an infant nursery, elementary school, middle school, and high school.  It has served orphans for more than fifty years. However, communication among the twelve institutions has not been smooth since Msgr. Aloysius passed away in 1992, and the leaders felt that the organization was becoming more and more rigid.

    Project Brand: Soaring AL (Aloysius) Family

    Affirmative Topic:

    1. The highest quality in raising and educating children
    2. Perfectly smooth communication among the institutions
    3. Advancing hand-in-hand toward our dreams
    4. Agile organizational change

    Corporation for Positive Change Services:

    • Pre-Summit facilitation of project team building
    • Design and implementation of three days’ AI Summit in Busan for 92 representatives of 1,000 family members of Busan SOM
    • Appreciative inquiry training for 19 volunteers from twelve institutions to establish ongoing AI initiatives
    • Follow up for six innovation teams

    Corporation for Positive Change Consultant: Jwa-Seop Shin

    Results: After the summit, six innovation teams, including Aloysius Institute team which is supposed to collect the great stories of the founder and disseminate them, are working continuously to change the communication and interaction patterns among the individual members and institutions. Nineteen volunteers who were trained in appreciative inquiry are working as facilitators of appreciative culture.

    Testimonial:  ”In the beginning, I couldn’t believe that any change will happen in our organization. Since 1992, whenMsgr. Aloysius passed away, there was almost no change in this organization. However, now after the three days workshop, I really can see a great eagle, the incarnation of Msgr. Aloysius, is flying in the beautiful sky.”

  • Population Services International

    PSI-logo1-100x62Strategic Focus: To develop a sustainable and vibrant future for the health and well being of the Lesotho community by designing an AI Summit that increases awareness of inter-departmental roles, responsibilities, and the communication of system-wide service delivery strategies.

    Situation:  Client – “Can you imagine a country where 40% of men and women 35 years old are HIV Positive – well, you don’t have to imagine, it’s right here…We are not interested in another “campaign” – what we need is no less than a “prevention revolution”… it’s time for a paradigm shift in how we view ourselves and our mission…”

    Population Services International (PSI) is a global healthcare not-for-profit organization, but in Lesotho, they are in the business of HIV prevention; full-stop. The overall HIV prevalence rate in Lesotho is about 24% (the 2nd highest in the world). But here are the really frightening figures… according to a study released in 2009, HIV prevalence rises from 8% among women 15-19 years to 25% among women 20-24 years – a 300% increase. HIV prevalence then increases to nearly 40% among 25-29 year old women – and men are right behind them reaching a 40% prevalence rate by age 34.

    Project Brand: A Sustainable and Vibrant Future for the people of Lesotho, South Africa

    Corporation for Positive Change Services:

    • (Pre-Summit)Facilitation of project team building
    • Design and implementation of AI Summit in Southern Africa for all 125 members of PSI/Lesotho community
    • Clarify core values and accountability between departments
    • Revitalize staff, revision future, and make recommendations for change
    • Follow-up for PSI teams, establish ongoing initiatives to keep the dreams alive and reinforce new communication patterns
    • Follow up for management and leadership training

    Corporation for Positive Change Consultants: Claire Fialkov and David Haddad

    Results: Summit experience was translated into actionable and relationally responsible goals organized around PSI/Lesotho core values and collective dream of a 50% reduction rate in new HIV infections by 2015.

    Testimonial:  YOU ROCK! Claire and David, amazing, beyond expectations, very very impressive… Just back to Maseru but wanted to immediately send a big THANK YOU for really going above and beyond the call of duty, putting in so much more time than was budgeted, and finally for rewriting the entire day 2 to make sure we maximized our staff inputs and outputs – WELL DONE!

    Dennis Walto, Country Representative
    PSI Lesotho

  • Hunter Douglas Window Fashions Division

    Hunger-Douglas-Logotype_Black-1-100x18Strategic Focus:  Culture transformation, strategic planning and business process improvement.

    Project Brands:  Focus 2000 and Focus on Excellence

    Corporation for Positive Change Services:  Over a period of five years, we designed and facilitated a multi-phased initiative to address the organization’s evolving needs.  The initial culture transformation work took place over a period of 18 months. It involved one-on-one Appreciative Interviews with approximately 1000 employees, along with key customers and suppliers, followed by two 100-person Appreciative Inquiry summits.  Subsequent activities included leadership training, annual strategic planning summits, and development of an AI-based quality improvement model.   Below is a summary of key milestones.

    Getting Started:

    • A five-person Project Leadership / Advisory Team was formed and trained.
    • A 12-person cross level, cross-functional Core Team came together.  This team guided the first two years of the work.
    • Each of the company’s 1000 employees participated in a 90-minute “Town Meeting”, in which they were introduced to the initiative, and invited to volunteer in a variety of ways.
    • 90 people met for two days to select affirmative topics and draft and appreciative interview guide.
    • 100 people were trained as interviewers.

    Year 1:

    • Within six months, 500 employees, as well as key customers and suppliers, had been interviewed.
    • The first Appreciative Inquiry Summit engaged 100 people (employees, customers and suppliers) for 3½ days.
    • During this summit, a series of Design Statements were conceived, addressing issues of leadership, vision, employee development and quality.  These set the course for the planning and operational improvement activities that were to follow.
    • In addition, this summit launched 14 cross-functional Innovation Teams, which later involved the broader workforce (including those not involved in the summit).  These teams worked for between three months and two years making significant contributions to the organization in the areas of: leadership and employee training, education and development; strategic planning; and employee engagement.
    • At the end of Year One, an additional 500 employees had been interviewed, thus fulfilling the original intention of actively engagement the division’s entire 1000-person workforce.

    Year 2:

    • A second 125-person Appreciative Inquiry Summit took place – this one focused on strategic planning.  During this meeting, the company forged its first division-level strategic plan, including a vision statement, strategies and objectives.
    • 75 of the company’s executives and senior level managers participated in a 3-day Appreciative Inquiry training.

    Years 3 through 5:

    • Annual Appreciative Inquiry Summits were held, with alternating focus on division- and business unit-level planning.
    • Focus on Excellence – a business process improvement program, merging Total Quality / Lean and Appreciative Inquiry principles and practices – was conceived and launched.
    • Dozens of process improvement teams participated in a two-day training, and launched process improvement and cost savings teams across the organization.

    Corporation for Positive Change Consultants: Amanda Trosten Bloom and Diana Whitney

    Results:  Following are excerpts from The Power of Appreciative Inquiry, 2nd edition (Whitney and Trosten-Bloom, 2010).  Where appropriate, page numbers for extended quotes are indicated.

    Year 1 (pp. 238-239):

    • Production and productivity had both improved, particularly in the departments or teams that had most fully embraced the AI philosophy and practice.
    • Operations improvement suggestions were up more than 100 percent throughout the division. This in turn had a big impact on both quality and internal customer service.
    • Turnover was the lowest it had been for six years, despite almost nonexistent unemployment in the local job market.
    • In the process of conducting a routine cross- business unit interview, one of the division’s printer operators had discovered the existence of a dual-fold printing machine that doubled the sister business unit’s printer capacities. He imported the idea to his business unit and prototyped a similar machine that ended up saving that business unit $220,000 in new equipment.

    Year 2 (pp. 239-240):

    • “Relationships between this and other divisions of the company really grew over the past couple of years—largely as a result of changes that were initiated as part of the Focus 2000 effort. Cross-divisional collaboration that was initiated at this location during Focus 2000 has resulted in an integrated, streamlined customer communication process. Under the division’s leadership, the larger organization is starting to build relationships between quality and our customer service functions throughout North America, again using the tools that were learned through the division’s work with AI.” (Rick Pellett, President, p. 239)
    • “Perhaps the most telling change in our division is demonstrated by people’s increased involvement in personal and professional development activities—both on and off the job. This includes such things as formal coursework, training programs, mentoring and career development activities, and peer support groups. For example, our Dale Carnegie enrollment soared within six months of our having started the intervention. First one and then several other “Toastmasters” chapters formed and “graduated.” Both programs were largely filled with employees from the hourly and nonprofessional ranks, particularly from the production areas of the company.” (Mike Burns, former Vice President of Human Resources, pp. 239-240)
    • When Hunter Douglas North America undertook the challenges of ISO 9001 registration and conversion to SAP, Appreciative Inquiry made life easier. According to Pellett, “These changes—which transformed the way we do business by raising the bar on standards for supplying quality products and services—were infinitely more doable because of Appreciative Inquiry.” (Pellett, p. 240)

    Years 3 through 5 (pp. 240-242)

    • In the first year of their existence, Focus on Excellence teams (formerly Innovation Teams) saved the division over three and a half million dollars.
    • TechStyle Acoustical Ceilings – a new interior design business – is launched, in response to the company’s expanded strategic vision.  This business is eventually spun off to become a separate Hunter Douglas division.
    • From 1998 to 2003: sales increase 30.1 percent; profitability increases 37.1 percent; employee turnover is reduced by 52.2 percent; returned goods are reduced by 55 percent; an on-time delivery of fabric and shades reaches 97 and 95 percent, respectively.
    • “Appreciative Inquiry influenced how Hunter Douglas grew by showing how the answers we get are determined by the questions we ask. When we asked, ‘What are we doing well that we can improve?’ we set a vision for our future as a ‘world-class’ organization, and set the tone for our continued success. Many of today’s most cherished programs—the scholarship and contributions committees, Hunter Douglas University, ISO, and recycling, to name a few—had their roots in Focus 2000 and Appreciative Inquiry. When organizational momentum moves and continues in a positive direction, great things can happen.” (Jim Anthony, Senior Development Engineer, p. 242)
  • Boulder County Aging Services

    Boulder-County-logo-100x33Strategic Focus:   Develop a widely supported 10-year plan for countywide aging services, along with an ongoing process of engagement that will reinforce the plan and assure its successful implementation.

    Project Brand:  Greeting our Future: A New Approach to Aging

    Corporation for Positive Change Services:  We designed and facilitated an 18-month inquiry to create communities in which we all age well.  Key milestones included:

    • Formed and developed a Strategic Vision Leadership Team, whose participants included Boulder, CO county aging services and city senior services staff.
    • Fifty-five people, representing a broad range of stakeholder groups (county and city staff, service professionals, elders, caregivers, elected officials, etc.) met for two days to select affirmative topics, draft an appreciative interview guide, and launch a six-month period of outreach and inquiry.
    • Engaged broad, diverse local and regional participants through one-on-one interviews and a series of three-hour, locally hosted group inquiry sessions.
    • 175 people participated in a two-day Appreciative Inquiry Summit.  This gathering forged new partnerships and stimulated ongoing engagement, while articulating strengths and developing a strategic vision.  Principles for Aging Well were drafted, then further refined by the Strategic Vision Leadership Team.
    • Concrete strategies and priorities were articulated through a series of four-hour, locally hosted community meetings.

    Corporation for Positive Change Consultant: Amanda Trosten Bloom


    • Widespread community support for the plan, which was adopted by the Boulder County Aging Services Board and Commissioners in July 2006.
    • Inclusive structures were created that continue to foster high levels of engagement and integrated action.
    • The initiative received local, regional, and national awards:
      • Columbine Award (Colorado Parks and Recreation Association2008).
      • Local Government Innovation Award for Planning with Vision (Denver Regional Council of Governments, 2007).
      • Aging Innovations and Achievement Award (National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, 2007).

    Testimonials:  “The plan has transformed every aspect of our work, from funding to grant-making to staffing and more. Our inclusive process brought the plan to life— made it the real and powerful force for change that we’d hoped it would be.”

    Sherry Leach, Aging Services Division Manager
    Adapted from The Power of Appreciative Inquiry
    Whitney and Trosten-Bloom, p. 259

  • City Of Longmont, CO

    Longmont-logo-100x100Strategic Focus:   Develop community-supported strategic policies, to make sure that Longmont can continue to be a great place to live both now and into the future as it approaches build-out within its planning boundaries.

    Project Brand:  Focus on Longmont

     Corporation for Positive Change Services:  We designed and facilitated an 18-month process that would enable city residents, Council and staff to “Share Your Vision, Create Our Legacy.” Key milestones included:

    • Thirty-four (34) people, representing a broad range of stakeholder groups (community leaders, citizens of all ages and cultural backgrounds, elected officials, city staff, etc.) met for two days to select affirmative topics, draft an appreciative interview guide, and launch a four-month period of outreach and inquiry.
    • Constructively engaged broad, diverse local and regional participants through one-on-one interviews and a series of 15 three-hour, locally hosted group inquiry sessions.
    • 150 people participated in an Appreciative Inquiry Summit.  This multilingual gathering forged new partnerships and stimulated ongoing engagement, while articulating strengths and developing a strategic vision.

    Corporation for Positive Change Consultants: Barbara Lewis and Amanda Trosten Bloom


    • Created a common language, shared vision and collective pride among diverse stakeholder groups with a wide-range of perspectives on community issues
    • Built energy and momentum for a series of choice-making sessions, which ultimately resulted in articulation of a broadly supported strategic plan, including five strategic policy directions and measures that continue to guide City Council in setting direction for the city, more than five years later.
    • The network of engaged citizens continued to grow
    • Focus on Longmont engagement processes were refined and continuously re-applied to ongoing community challenges, including:
      • Education
      • Economic vitality
      • Immigrant integration
      • Public safety taxes
      • Environmental planning
      • Strategic planning efforts within numerous city departments
    • The city has continued to build the capacity of its staff to plan and facilitate a wide range of community involvement efforts
    • The initiative received the International Association for Public Participation’s Core Values Project of the Year Award in 2006. Key accomplishments noted in this award were:
      • Commitment to improved community engagement
      • Boldness in innovation
      • Organizational transformation
      • Whole system involvement
      • Lasting effect

     Testimonial: “Focus on Longmont exceeded all of our expectations. It has become the driving force for the future of Longmont. We couldn’t have imagined the way the initiative has galvanized energy around Longmont’s sustainable future.”

    Karen Roney, Director of Community Services
    City of Longmont, CO