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Dynamic Relationships


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About the Author

Jackie's passion is working with others to discover their strengths, identify opportunities and create a plan with meaningful results for positive change! She is internationally recognized for her creation of SOAR. SOAR is a profoundly positive approach to strategic thinking, planning, and leading that focuses on strengths, opportunities, aspirations and results in strategic conversations ( The heart of the SOAR framework is Appreciative Inquiry (AI), one of the most popular approaches to positive change - that is bringing out the best in people, their organizations, and communities. For over 25 years, Jackie has been integrating these strengths-based, whole system practices into her research, teaching, training, coaching and consulting work to strengthen relationships, impact performance, and create meaningful change.She works with organizations to help them get organized and focused for sustainable growth. Through executive coaching and whole system change methods, she helps organizations identify and articulate their values, vision and mission statements, strategy, and strategic initiatives and build collaborative teams and communities for results-oriented action. She has worked across all sectors including for-profit, non-profit, governmental, and a wide spectrum of industries. Jackie is a professor at Lawrence Technological University (LTU) College of Management and has been honored with the LTU Inaugural Presidential Research Award. She is also Senior Appreciative Inquiry Strategist for Flourishing Leadership Institute and a member of the Appreciative Inquiry Council of Practitioners for the David L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry and Taos Institute. Prior to joining LTU, her industry work includes manufacturing, automotive, banking, technology, education, healthcare, government, and professional services. Jackie has co-authored many books, book chapters, and articles including: Appreciative Inquiry Handbook: For Leadership of Change, Dynamic Relationships: Unleashing the Power of Appreciative Inquiry in Daily Living, Thin Book of SOAR: Building Strengths-based Strategy, and upcoming book, Conversations Worth Having: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Fuel Productive and Meaningful Engagement. She has presented her research and work in over 25 countries. She is a keynote speaker on AI, SOAR, positive approaches to leadership development and change. Jackie earned her Doctorate in Management from Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. Her Dissertation topic: Capacity Building Using an Appreciative Approach: A Relational Process of Building Your Organization's Future. Email: Cheri Torres, Ph.D. Cheri's passion is helping people learn to create miracles in their relationships, organizations, and communities by engaging in conversations worth having. She specializes in leadership and team development, emphasizing the art of productive and meaningful engagement. Leaders working with her learn to create the kind of relational dynamics that ignite the full potential of their teams and organization, resulting in high performance, innovation, and goal achievement. She also partners with communities and organizations for whole systems change and strategic planning, bringing all stakeholders together for planning, design and collaborative action. She has worked across all sectors: corporate, government, education, and social profit/NGOs, supporting their capacity for learning and innovation, shared leadership, teamwork and collective impact. She has trained thousands of trainers and teachers in the use and practice of Experiential Learning, Appreciative Inquiry, and other strength-based processes. In addition to North America, she has worked in India, Mexico, Canada, South America, and Europe. In 2009, Cheri founded Collaborative by Design, reflecting her commitment to collaborate with clients and other consulting groups for positive change. She currently is a founding partner or Associate with a number of such groups, including NextMove, Corvo Consulting Group, Innovation Partners International, Insight Shift, the Taos Institute, the Center for Appreciative Inquiry, and UNITE WNC. Cheri holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a specialization in Collaborative Learning from the University of Tennessee. She also holds an MBA, a Masters in Transpersonal Psychology, Level 2 certification in Cultural Transformation Tools/Barrett Values Centre, and Level II certification in Spiral Dynamics Integral. She has authored or co-authored numerous books and articles including The Appreciative Facilitator: Accelerated Learning Practices and Dynamic Relationships: Unleashing the Power of Appreciative Inquiry in Daily Living. Her latest book, Conversations Worth Having: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Fuel Productive and Meaningful Engagement will be published by Berrett Koehler late spring 2018. She co-designed and patented Mobile Team Challenge, an award-winning, portable low ropes course. She lives in Asheville, NC with her husband, Michael, their two dogs, Logan and Annabelle, and two cats, Ziggy and Lucy. Email:


"Dynamic Relationships signals the next generation of Appreciative Inquiry. It builds on the most powerful and mysterious of social constructionist principles, the relational nature of our selves. This is a powerful and comprehensive approach to connecting deeply and joyously with our most desired future." Daniel K. Saint, Ph.D., Former Partner, Deloitte "To my knowledge this is the first book in the field of Appreciative Inquiry that combines theory and practice in such a fine way. It also makes provocative reading as the authors take a very clear stand in the dialogue whether AI will change your life or not: it will. Working through this book will increase your awareness of yourself, of your relations, and how to grow and enrich these relations. Taking this clear position not only makes this book refreshing as it fires up the dialogue around AI, but it also helps us readers-in a very practical way-to discover the next steps on the road that leads to the discovery of the positive core of ourselves and of others we are in relation with. Jackie Stavros and Cheri Torres have produced a challenging book that will inspire many of us to travel further in our search for the very best in our relationships!" Joep de Jong, Director Learning Solutions Europe, BT, Amsterdam, Holland "Knowing both authors professionally, I am delighted they wrote this book. Jackie Stavros and Cheri Torres live the principles of Dynamic Relationships in their work and families. I am eager to get my hands on this book as a resource for clients and colleagues focused on positive change in health care. Susan O. Wood, Principal, Corporation for Positive Change "I thoroughly enjoyed reading your manuscript. I got several good ideas relating to our graduate program and my own writing, not to mention some possibilities for changing my relationship with others. Thanks! This book does two things: first, by addressing life outside organizations, it helps make more people aware of the idea of living in the appreciative paradigm; and second, it helps make the idea real and useful to anyone who chooses to act on it. Jackie and Cheri have thus put before us a potentially life-changing tool that we can use to fashion our future in relationship with others beyond organizational life. The rest is up to us." John M. Peters, Professor and Coordinator, Doctoral Program in Collaborative Learning, University of Tennessee "Cheri and Jackie invite us to be more mindful, self-aware, of the impact our daily conversations have on our personal and professional relationships. They also give us many experiential exercises to help us create conversations that support more positive and dynamic relationships. Dynamic Relationships is a practical contribution to the growing literature of Appreciative Inquiry." Nancy Stetson, Ed.D., Center for Appreciative Inquiry "Stavros and Torres have made an exceptional contribution with this practical and thoughtful book. This piece takes Appreciative Inquiry beyond the organizational life into your life. It's an exciting and expansive relational paradigm to live each day." Dr. Marge Schiller, President, The Positive Change Corps "A fantastic piece of work! The activities and exercises make this approach so real to live into. I especially found the briefcase exercise very helpful because it will get me home on time for dinner with my family." David Gregorich, Manager of Electronics, Macomb Community College

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