We are a global cooperative of leading Appreciative Inquiry consultants, each with a unique portfolio of strengths, expertise and specialties.
Diana Whitney, Ph.D. – Founder, Consulting Partner
Diana 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.
Ralph Weickel – President
Ralph Weickel brings 35+ years-experience developing organizations, executives, managers and teams to work at their best and in a positive environment to achieve and exceed performance targets.
He is an expert at facilitating the discovery of one’s best self and then bringing that forth in the work environment. He is able to help executives and managers identify and leverage their strengths while building similar capacities within their Teams.
Ralph’s work is based on the principles of appreciative inquiry, positive psychology and the science of peak performance which allows him to co-create highly successful engagements with clients. He has worked across a broad spectrum of industries including healthcare, manufacturing, finance, government and utilities.
Ralph works globally and has experience in many cultures providing insights into the nuances of different workplace norms. He works on-site and virtually, tailoring the engagement to the client’s needs and preferences incorporating both the personality of the individual and the organization in which they work.
Ralph is seen by his clients as being highly innovative and able to connect at multiple levels to create success and high-performance. One of his strengths is being able to formulate and ask positive questions that result in new thinking and the co-creation of new habits and behaviours for implementing a process that works best for the individual, team or organization.
Prior to his Positive Change Consulting and Coaching practice, Ralph spent 19 years in the financial service industry building high-performing teams and consistently exceeding performance targets. He has experience with a variety of assessments tools and the use of 360 assessments.
Being a native of Germany, Ralph is also fluent in German, in addition to English.
Tenny 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.
David Reed has been a trainer and coach for over 20 years. He has served as a Senior Training and Education Analyst for the University of Pennsylvania and has provided consulting services to a diverse list of clients, including American Express, AT&T, Yale University, University of California, and New York University.
David developed a passion for Appreciative Inquiry while studying Positive Psychology with former Harvard Professor Tal Ben Shahar at the Whole Being Institute. David was thrilled to discover a fully-developed, rigorous methodology that encourages bold vision, celebrates human magnificence, and aligns individual and organizational purpose to unleash optimism and unprecedented engagement.
David received certification from The Center for Appreciative Inquiry, has a degree in Philosophy from Emory University, a Certificate in Positive Psychology (CiPP), and is a Certified Professional Coach (CPC), and Gottman 7-Principles Educator.
Amanda 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 amanda-headshot2019-cropleaders 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.
Dorothy Tsui is the founder of Corporation for Positive Change – Asia. She is a dedicated people and organization development consultant who partners with her clients in formulating solutions that build their organizational and leadership capacity to make positive strategic changes. The solutions enable her clients to leverage their best systematically, with comprehensive follow-up measures to demonstrate concrete and lasting results. She started her career in the retail catering and hospitality industry. She has a strong bond with service industries with hands-on experience in frontline operations, business, brand and people management. Her broad consultancy portfolio includes clients from international corporations in finance, retail, hospitality, real estate, manufacturing and IT, as well as government agencies, non-governmental organizations, not-for-profits, and educational institutions. Her clients include global brands such as HSBC, Bank of China, Hewlett-Packard, Disneyland, Cathay Pacific, Galaxy Entertainment, Venetian, SWIFT, Chanel, Burberry, Jardine, Huawei, World Vision and Oxfam.
Dorothy is fluent in English, Cantonese, and Mandarin and leads regional projects in Asia that engage diverse stakeholder groups from different cultures. Collaborating extensively with her Positive Change partners around the globe, Dorothy works with the best people to support her clients to achieve their global agenda. She has been translating books on Positive Change into Chinese, including Appreciative Team Building: Positive Questions to Bring Out the Best of Your Team and The Power of Appreciative Inquiry: A Practical Guide to Positive Change.
Kevin Real, Ph.D.
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 Corporation for Positive Change 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
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 owner of the ChangeLab, specializing in change management, appreciative inquiry and social and governmental innovation. He is also partner at VanVieren. He is a certified Executive Coach, and is presently working for a variety of organizations and specializes in organizational change, social and economic development of neighborhoods and energy transition. In recent years he has been working together with universities on societal change projects (Helsinki, Espoo, Malmo, Johannesburg) and is co-founder of the platform International Initiatives for Societal Innovation.
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).
In 2002 he became City-manager in Amsterdam 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 2013 till 2015, he was the program Director of Organizational Development for the city of Amsterdam. Frank’s main responsibility was to compel the city administration to be more flexible and responsive to the needs of its citizens and entrepreneurs.
In 2015 he started his own company, the ChangeLab.
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.