Executive Education Series
Appreciative Inquiry Certificate Program

Leading Collaborative Change & Building Agile Organizations

"People support what they help to create," wrote organizational change legend Marvin Weisbord.

If you want to develop great leaders, implement must-succeed change initiatives, or enhance organizational agility, the best way to ensure success is to engage the mindshare of your full team in a dynamic and results-focused process. We'll help you master the art of leading collaborative change through Appreciative Inquiry (AI). Our Foundations Workshop provides an in-depth understanding of how you can use AI to lead collaborative change initiatives. Put what you've learned to work in your own organization (with coaching from our experts, AI pioneers Dr. Jim Ludema and Amber Johnson), return to campus for our Capstone Workshop, and you'll earn your Certificate in Appreciative Inquiry for Collaborative Change, through the Center for Values-Driven Leadership.

FOUNDATIONS WORKSHOP (can be taken as a standalone course): February 5-7, 2020
APPLICATION PROJECTS (with coaching from the series faculty): February-July, 2020

CAPSTONE WORKSHOP (for those working toward a certificate): July 20-21, 2020

Foundations Workshop

Join us February 5-7, 2020, for a foundational look at Leading Collaborative Change and Building Agile Organizations through the Appreciative Inquiry methodology. This hands-on workshop will help you learn new tools for engaging others in creating vision, setting strategy, and executing on must-succeed initiatives.

Application Projects with Personalized Coaching

Following the foundational workshop, participants who want to earn their Certificate in Appreciative Inquiry will identify a change project within their organization. Working with a personal coach from the Center for Values-Driven Leadership, the participant will lead a collaborative change project designed to put their new knowledge into practice. (Prerequisite: Foundations workshop.)

Capstone Workshop

Complete your AI Certification with this Capstone Workshop, July 20-21, 2020, where participants will present their application projects and dig deeper into the tools and methods of using AI to lead collaborative change. With the guidance and support of our faculty, you'll enhance your capacity as a master AI facilitator. (Prerequisite: Foundations workshop and completion of an AI change project.)

Foundations Workshop Only


  • Foundations Workshop

  • Personalized Coaching

  • Capstone Workshop
  • Certificate

What is collaborative change?

Every organization engages in change projects. Changes may be big, like setting a new strategic direction, acquiring a new business, launching a new talent management initiative, or restructuring your global operations to enhance organizational agility; or changes may be smaller, like coaching or mentoring colleagues, building high-performing teams, or implementing a new way of reporting or a new sales strategy. No matter the size, research says change is more effective when you engage as many people as possible in the process.

Collaborative change is the idea that a project's stakeholders should be invited to influence the change process.

But doesn't involving stakeholders in a change process slow things down? That's a question we get all the time. The answer is no; it's just the opposite when you use the Appreciative Inquiry process for your collaborative change initiative: real change can actually happen better, faster, and more sustainably. Why? Because AI invites people into the process, gets their best ideas from the start, and ensures that you have their support going forward.

Committing to collaborative change isn't easy; it requires you to be flexible and open to the ideas of others. But it is more effective. Join us to learn how.

What is Appreciative Inquiry?

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a strengths-based, positive approach to leadership development and organizational change that can be used by individuals, teams, organizations, or at the societal level; it helps people move toward a shared vision for the future by engaging others in strategic innovation.

Teams and organizations use AI to lead collaborative change and build agile organizations through understanding best practices, developing strategic plans, shifting culture, aligning processes, and creating forward momentum on major initiatives. AI also has been used to find common ground around topics of global importance, to shape the direction of non-profits and NGOs, and to form multi-national initiatives that span geography and industries.

Originally developed at Case Western Reserve University, Appreciative Inquiry has been used by organizations of all sizes, including Merck, British Airways, Wal-Mart, John Deere, the United States Navy, World Vision, and more. Jim Ludema, one of the experienced facilitators at the Center for Values-Driven Leadership, wrote the book on leading collaborative change through AI.

About Appreciative Inquiry: Free Resources


Want an introduction to Appreciative Inquiry before the workshop?

Appreciative Inquiry Certificate Program Faculty

Jim Ludema, Ph.D., is Professor of Global Leadership and Founder and Director of the Center for Values-Driven Leadership, Daniel L. Goodwin College of Business, Benedictine University. He is a pioneer and global expert in Appreciative Inquiry methodology and author of The Appreciative Inquiry Summit: A Practitioner’s Guide for Leading Large Group Change. Jim is the lead facilitator for our Appreciative Leadership workshop, which helps executives and their teams identify their unique individual leadership strengths, in order to earn peak performance from themselves and others. Additionally, Jim teaches Leading Teams to our executive doctoral students, and is a regular contributor with, where he writes about culture, strategic planning, and building positive organizations.

Jim earned his Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University, the birthplace of Appreciative Inquiry. He has lived and worked in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America and has served as a consultant to a variety of organizations including GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, BP, McDonald’s, John Deere, USG, U.S. Cellular, the US Navy, World Vision, and many local and international NGOs.

Amber Johnson is Chief Communications Officer and Senior Research Associate in the Center for Values-Driven Leadership, Daniel L. Goodwin College of Business, Benedictine University; she is also a doctoral student, researching leading change. Amber is an experienced facilitator, and a co-leader of our Appreciative Leadership for Peak Performance leadership development workshop. With Jim, Amber is a regular contributor at, where she writes about culture, strategic planning, and building positive organizations. As a consultant, Amber helps companies connect their purpose and values to their core strategies and behaviors. Amber has global leadership experience with World Vision and the US Peace Corps and has served as a consultant to organizations including digital marketing agencies, universities, manufacturing companies, utilities, and non-profit organizations.