Turning the Tide of Our Conversations

Aug 28, 2019
We move and grow in the direction of our conversations and the questions that we ask, so it only makes sense to talk about what we want . . . for ourselves, our families, our workplaces, communities, nation, & the world. The only thing stopping us from creating orgs & communities that thrive is us!

Create Positive Change, One Conversation at a Time.

Cheri Torres and Jackie Stavros are committed to shifting the nature of the conversations people are having in the world. They know that we move and grow in the direction of our conversations and the questions that we ask, so it only makes sense to talk about what we want . . . for ourselves, our families, our workplaces, communities, nation, and the world. The only thing stopping us from creating organizations and communities that thrive is us: Let’s start having conversations worth having.

The American Society of Association Executives Annual Meeting

Cheri Torres and Mike Feinson spoke to Association Executives at the ASAE 2019 Annual Meeting in Columbus, OH. The theme of complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity was threaded through many presentations. It seems to be the hot topic these days for organizations committed to thriving in times of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. Cheri and Mike specifically spoke on crowdsourcing solutions for wicked problems by engaging association members. Participants had the opportunity to name their wicked problem, flip it and then frame an affirmative topic. They walked away with a set of generative questions they might ask their members and a draft design for how they might engage people in crowdsourcing solutions. More at Crowdsource Members to Propel Ideas and Projects Forward by Tim Ebner.

Recently, Jackie spoke at Western Michigan University, a university with over 20,000 students. It was a packed day for her! In the morning she delivered a 3-hour professional development workshop on The Power of a Conversation for 100 academic and administrative leaders.  In the afternoon Jackie delivered a 90-minute interactive presentation on a condensed version of the morning session for more than 200 staff.  The HR Director shared her gratitude saying, “This was spot-on!”


Cheri was honored to have the opportunity to speak with 450 women business leaders (and a few smart men!) at the WomanUP event sponsored by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. They learned and then applied the two simple practices from their book, Conversations Worth Having, on issues relevant in their own businesses. Women left ready to change the nature of their conversations!

Putting it into action. Among the many ideas for how these women were going to take these practices forward was Meredith Switzer, Executive Director for Homeward Bound, who said, “I really enjoyed the experience. I see the need and value in utilizing the AI model in our environment. It’s especially important because we work with some the community’s most vulnerable, those experiencing homelessness. As a result, I plan to do a book study with my Senior Staff.” Cheri sent her the CWH Bookclub slides and Study Group Guide to support her effort.

Our first cohort of CWH Trainers.
We are so excited about this group!

CWH Trainer Certification

In August, Cheri and Jackie hosted the first pilot CWH Trainer program in Sacramento, CA. This pilot group was made possible by Michael Grabow. Cheri and Jackie are grateful for his encouragement and persistence! These amazing humans are already sharing the practices and incorporating them into their on-going training. In addition to Michael, they include Christell Bechtold, Deb Connors, Wendy Farrell, Bev Hollis, Kris Lea, Maureen (Mo) McKenna, and Sylvette Wake.

And the team of trainers is growing! In mid-September, Cheri and Jackie head to Burlington, VT to meet with their second cohort of CWH trainers working towards CWH Trainer Certification. [Many of those seen in the feature picture of this blog – members of our first set of Bootcamps – will be in this second cohort!] Cheri and Jackie are committed to growing a global team of people interested in shifting the nature of the conversations we have in the world. For certified trainers, Cheri and Jackie are making all their materials, workbooks, slides, and videos available. Trainers can co-brand and integrate the materials into their own training. If you’re a trainer, facilitator, coach, consultant, or just want to be part of this movement, please join us. Find out more here.

The Organization Development Network Conference

Complexity and the need for agility are being felt by everyone. In October, Cheri and Jackie are headed to the ODN2019 Conference in Las Vegas. Joan McArther-Blair and Jeanie Cockell, will partner with Cheri and Jackie to deliver a multi-media, experiential keynote address entitled Navigating Complexity and Transformation through Resilient Conversations. We will be drawing from each of our books, Conversations Worth Having and Building Resilience with Appreciative Inquiry. If you’re in the field of organization development, Human Resources, or simply a leader looking for ways to work in the rapidly changing workplace, consider joining them!


Cheri Torres is Lead Catalyst and CEO at Collaborative by Design. She works with leaders in organizations and communities to enhance their ability to fuel productivity and meaningful engagement through everyday conversation. [email protected]


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