Details: Appreciative Inquiry Training Event

May 13, 2021
9am to 4:30 pm Central
Cost: $150/pp or $500/team of 5

Want a fast introduction to Appreciative Inquiry?

Join us March 4, 2021, for a free 45-minute executive education workshop, Leading Change through Appreciative Inquiry.

Appreciative Inquiry for Strategic Change: Addressing Uncertainty & Finding Shared Paths Forward

Executive Education Webinar

When the books are written on 2020, we may consider it the most disruptive year in modern history. And yet, as leaders, we’re called to build shared paths forward, often in virtual environments. How can we stare uncertainty in the face, strengthen connections, and mobilize our organizations for a thriving future?

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) offers a powerful model for rising above the disruption of today to chart a course for the future. During this one-day online workshop, AI pioneers Dr. Jim Ludema and Dr. Amber Johnson will teach you to use the tools of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) for strategic planning and innovation in both face-to-face and virtual environments. You’ll leave the session with a clear understanding of how to put AI to work in your organization.

Draft Schedule • Online Workshop


Introductions to AI & Each Other


Interviews: Thriving in the Face of Uncertainty


Identifying Strengths for a Thriving Future


Positive Image, Positive Action




Images of the Future


Identifying Strategic Opportunities




Designing the Future


Putting AI to Work in Your Organization

Frequently Asked Questions about Appreciative Inquiry & Our Workshop

  • What is Appreciative Inquiry? AI is a positive and future-focused process for leadership development and organizational change. Originally created and developed by Case Western Reserve University’s faculty and students, including your facilitator Dr. Jim Ludema, it has now been used in organizations around the world to tackle challenges such as strategic planning; improving cost, quality, and cycle times; growing customer satisfaction; shaping culture; increasing sales; and addressing other critical opportunities. Learn more here.
  • Do I need to have an existing understanding of AI to participate? We’ll provide a thorough introduction to help you jump in; for more experienced practitioners, we’ll offer new insights around leading through times of disruption and complexity.
  • Do I need to attend the whole day? The content in each section connects to learning from previous sections; missing portions of the day would diminish your learning experience.
  • I’m not the CEO; should I still attend? You don’t have to be the top executive to bring AI’s insights to your organization. We’ll help you consider how to put these strategies in your area of responsibility.
  • May I bring a group? Can I come alone? We love having teams from the same organization participate, as putting the strategies to work after the session is easier with supportive colleagues. But you’re also welcome to come alone; we’ll make sure you feel at home.
  • What software will be used to access the webinar? We'll use Zoom video conferencing software.

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a powerful tool for creating vision, setting strategy, leading change, shifting culture, and developing leaders.

In our workshops and executive education training sessions, you learn the tools of Appreciative Inquiry in a premier, hands-on learning environment. Walk away equipped to develop yourself and others as exceptional leaders, build high-engagement organizations, and drive performance by providing clear, strategic leadership. 

About Your Appreciative Inquiry Facilitators & Trainers

Jim Ludema, Ph.D. is Professor of Global Leadership and Founder and Director of the Center for Values-Driven Leadership at Benedictine University. He is a regular contributor, where he writes about building strong cultures through positive leadership.

Jim is a global expert in Appreciative Inquiry (AI) methodology and has used AI inside a variety of organizations including GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, BP, McDonald’s, John Deere, the US Navy, and World Vision.

He is the author of The Appreciative Inquiry Summit: A Practitioner’s Guide for Leading Large Group Change, and the co-author of several eBooks and practitioner resources. Jim earned his Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University, the birthplace of Appreciative Inquiry.

Amber Johnson, Ph.D. is Chief Communications Officer and a Senior Research Associate in the Center for Values-Driven Leadership, Benedictine University. She is a weekly contributor at, where she (with colleague Jim Ludema) writes about shaping organizations through positive leadership, strong cultures, and values-driven approaches to work.  

Through her writing, public speaking, and consulting, Amber helps companies connect their purpose and values to their core strategies and brands. She is the co-author of several e-books and practitioner resources and is an experienced Appreciative Inquiry facilitator, having served as a consultant to organizations including digital marketing agencies, universities, manufacturing companies, utilities, and non-profit organizations.

What is Appreciative Inquiry?

Appreciative Inquiry is a strengths-based, collaborative approach to leadership development and organizational change.

Find a full description with additional resources at this link.

What Our Executive Students
Say about Our Workshops

“I wish that I would have been exposed to this type of training years ago and am anxious to start putting this in to practice in my everyday life.” – Kelli Curnutt, MISO Energy

"A truly unexpected art form! Appreciative Inquiry's ability to fuse tapping into and developing the creative best in people, while also solving and overcoming very real business challenges was stunning. The facilitators found ways to make the universal principles so personal for me as a people and business leader, and for everyone in attendance. It's like having seen something I can never un-see, and in that, I'm thrilled to let AI permeate all I do moving forward." – Noah Weiner, VP of Client Strategy, BeFoundOnline

"By any measure, AI was the most engaging, energizing and insightful professional development series for me and our leadership team." - Anna Amato, Ph.D., CEO, edtec

“I truly think that the program is outstanding, and the idea of incorporating a whole vision of Positive Psychology and Appreciative Leadership is truly exceptional. By the last class, when we were able to go through the whole process, it became clear for me and I was able to visualize myself as a facilitator of the methodology.” – Enrique Lopez, President, Humanum

"The Appreciative Inquiry Executive Workshop Series at Benedictine University’s Center for Values Driven Leadership, provides organizations with a truly innovative, generative approach to driving sustained growth by harnessing  the  power of the firm’s positive core. For Magnetrol, the program not only provided us with the opportunity to develop the competencies to lead this process at the senior executive level, it allowed us to discover the combined strengths we have as an executive team that we now leverage to new heights." - John Heiser, Ph.D., Magnetrol International, Former President & COO

"After completing the Appreciative Leadership series this year, I find I'm using the tools and techniques both at work and at home. I'm "AI-ing" with my team, my family and my students in ways I'd never imagined. I highly recommend this program to leaders of all stages of development." - Charley Orwig, VP, Federated Group

"The Appreciative Leadership Workshop Series was a life-changing experience for me! Connecting with successful, values-driven professionals while learning AI in an elevating, world-class educational environment led by expert facilitators is something that I recommend to any leader who wants to grow, and something I will always cherish." - Scott Bohnert, Division President, Steak & Shake

“You leave with a real action plan!” – Melissa Norcross, Chief of Strategy, Ontario Systems