About David
About David

About David

Dr. David Cooperrider's founding theoretical work in "Appreciative Inquiry" is creating a positive revolution in the leadership of change. With implications for every aspect of business, AI has experienced exponential growth as a change initiative methodology. This growth is testimony to the profound impact AI is having in business, education, healthcare, communities, non-profit and government institutions.

David speaks at large corporate and association conferences and has served as advisor to a wide variety of organizations including the Boeing Corporation, Fairmount Minerals, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, McKinsey, Parker Hannifin, Sherwin Williams, Wal-Mart, American Red Cross, American Hospital Association, Cleveland Clinic, and World Vision.

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Speaking Engagements
Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagements

David often serves as meeting speaker and leader of large group interactive conference events. Contact us to learn more about David Cooperrider's speaking engagements, with a general overview of his speaking topics and time options (speech, speech with breakout session, speech as part of full day program, 2-3 day training programs, etc.)

Creating Sustainable Value

Creating Sustainable Value

David Cooperrider and Chuck Fowler discuss the opening of the Fowler Center for Sustainable Value.

Together, the concepts of Appreciative Inquiry and Sustainable Value answer the challenge of business today: to generate wealth while strategically addressing the pressures of multiple stakeholders, increasing competition, and ever-greater resource limitations.

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Decade of Determination: Building an Economic Engine Empowering a Green City on a Blue Lake Through “AI”
Decade of Determination: Building an Economic Engine Empowering a Green City on a Blue Lake Through “AI”

Decade of Determination: Building an Economic Engine Empowering a Green City on a Blue Lake Through “AI”

This was one of the most powerful examples of the AI Summit method ever recorded–showing how the AI Summit can blend advanced economic strategy analysis with action oriented multi-stakeholder designing.

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Featured Blog Articles
Recent Blog Entries
Apr 10

Wal-Mart partners with Wild Oats to roll back prices on organic food for everyone

See on Scoop.itBusiness as an Agent of World Benefit


(Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc wants Americans, even those on a budget, to buy more organic food.The retailer that leads U.S. stores in grocery sales said on Thursday it struck a deal to


David Cooperrider‘s insight:

Wal Mart is advancing the sustainability revolution in the best way it knows how: by lowering prices, so organics are available to everyone. "If we can make that price premium disappear, we think it (the organics movement) will grow much, much faster," Jack Sinclair, executive vice president of grocery at Walmart U.S., said of the retailer’s small but faster-growing organic sales. How does Wal Mart build a better future for more people? By cutting out redundant steps in the process, finding new effieciencies, and lowering prices. Save money, live well is not an empty slogan and its a lesson in effective management: lead with your distinctive strengths, as you search for ways to do good and do well.  


See on www.reuters.com

Mar 21

Dynamism and Discontinuity: Eight Trends in the Business Environment that will Shape Strategy

See on Scoop.itBusiness as an Agent of World Benefit


David Cooperrider‘s insight:

It is not an exaggeration to say that a sea change has occurred with respect to sustainable value creation across a wider stakeholder domain; what used to be a peripheral set of activities has now become integral to firm strategy, supply chain operations, talent management, and more.


See on www.europeanbusinessreview.com

Mar 11

About Juan Tricarico – DairyMinded – Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy

See on Scoop.itBusiness as an Agent of World Benefit

Today, as director for the Cow of the Future™ project, I collaborate with scientists, nutritionists, veterinarians, producers and many others who ask questions about the production of methane gas by dairy cows.

David Cooperrider‘s insight:

The story of the sustainable dairy industry movement is exciting and one of the pillars of a grand strategy for America–a regenerative agriculture that creates health and flourishing. Here is my interview on the subject and how Appreciative Inquiry catalyzed cooperation across the full value chain for a sustainable dairy.

http://weatherhead.case.edu/news/2013/09/06/appreciative-inquiry-as-sustainable-design-factory-a-conversation-with-weatherhead-professor-david-cooperrider

And here is an example of the kind of curious, appreciative inquiry leadership we see happening: it involves rigorous inquiry; it is possibility focsued; and it shows that when you change the way you see, the things you see also change!

See on www.usdairy.com

Mar 6

The CEO of Kimberly-Clark on Building a Sustainable Company by Speeding the Spread of one Story at a Time

See on Scoop.itBusiness as an Agent of World Benefit

“This is part of an ongoing series from Harvard Business Review and the Skoll World Forum on how mega-corporations are integrating innovative ways to solve social and environmental problems into their core operations.”

David Cooperrider‘s insight:

In appreciative inquiry’s 4th “D” we help companies set up an affirmative organization learning culture which spreads “what works” with the click of a button–it’s called the ASN, or accelerating strengths network. In Wal-Mart’s early work we helped Andy Rueben spread over 2000 stories of success–all in low cost storytelling ways–to help inspire other employees, designers, and managers throughout the Wal-mart system and beyond. This story shows the ripple effects too. Here the CEO of Kimberely Clark shares how the spark at Wal-mart became a passion at KC, and how stories have wings and can fly from mountain top to mountaintop. This kind of strengths based, story based, network based change is empowering and fun. Change does not need to be dreaded, or create resistance–people love change, really. When these sparks ( stories) are set free, they grow into bright flames that light the way for others, and together become a corporate torch (legacy). The CEO of Kimberly Clark in this HBR series shows how easily this passion for positive change can spread to employees at every level.

“Some of the best thinking on how to meet our sustainability goals have come from employees in our mills. We first introduced Neve Compacto, a low-energy paper product, in Italy, to help retailers save shelf space and moms save room in their storage closet. Our Brazilian team saw how well it was working there and adapted it for use in their market. It’s been a huge success there. The Compacto rolls reduce the average amount of packaging used by 13%, which is equivalent to just over 1.8 million empty plastic water bottles in one year.”

See on skollworldforum.org

Feb 21

Sustainable Cleveland 2019: The Appreciative Inquiry Design Summit and ‘A Thriving Green City on a Blue Lake’

See on Scoop.itBusiness as an Agent of World Benefit

The people of Cleveland are mobilizing around a compelling vision to transform their communities into a flourishing city. They have the courage to dream a magnanimous vision for their city in the face of tremendous challenges….

David Cooperrider‘s insight:

Today’s Huntington Post article by Michele Hunt is about putting vision and values to work. Highlighted is the power of wholeness–and a shift from dialogical (gridlocked) democracy to design democracy: where “we the people” do not just provide input, but actually engage in the design of strategic change. This case story involves Cleveland.

The City of Cleveland: Designing a Green City on a Blue Lake: Despite media attention on federal efforts to transition to a green economy, the real change happening is a quiet revolution taking places among US cities. Over 973 mayors have signed on to the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. However, even with the exponential growth of effort by cities, most of the action still remains fragmented. Most initiatives are either within a specific sector or a small area of a city resulting in the absence of systemic approaches to change. Read more

Feb 19

Combining Purpose With Profits: Companies Still Need More Than Good Intentions to Do Good

See on Scoop.itBusiness as an Agent of World Benefit

Several organizing principles can help companies sustain both profitability and a sense of purpose.

David Cooperrider‘s insight:

Good intention to do good is one thing. But perhaps the most the essential thing “business as an agent of world benefit” does is to combine good intention with brilliant management.  MIT’s research looks at several organizing principles, and why good management cannot be compromised by simply having good intentions. But there is another real lesson here: having a purpose beyond profits is the best way to realize the highest levels in human motivation.  People give their lives to real causes–and our world has plenty of them just waiting for leaders to turn our world’s great challenges into bona fide business opportunities.  Purpose, according to Ratan Tata, the recently retired CEO of the Tata Group, is “a spiritual and moral call to action; it is what a person or company stands for.”

See on sloanreview.mit.edu

Feb 19

Smart Grid: National Grid enters next phase of important smart grid pilot Envisioned at their First Appreciative Inquiry Summit

See on Scoop.itBusiness as an Agent of World Benefit

Smart Grid – We have followed National Grid’s smart grid pilot in Worcester, MA throughout its evolution, and it continues to be one to watch. The smart meter installations have been completed…

David Cooperrider‘s insight:

Utility executives face difficult challenges in leading the industry-level change needed to secure a prosperous future.  National Grid employed Strategic Convening using the Appreciative Inquiry Positive Design Summit to overcome such challenges.  This article shares the National Grid experience to orchestrate two major Appreciative Inquiry Summits in Massachusetts.  It also presents possible implications for the Energy Utility Industry and for the Energy Utilities that choose to lead the way.  The article provides the basis for real optimism among utilities.  It shows how relationships and understanding among utilities, regulators, customers, public advocates, solution providers and other key players can be strengthened to enable a profitable and sustainable transition toward a clean energy future.

http://theenergycollaborative.com/strategic-convening-in-the-energy-utility-industry-the-case-of-national-grid/

I think National Grid is an extraordinary company in the utilities domain. They connect with communities and customers, better than any other company of its kind. I have seen them in operation–convening 500 people, stakeholders from every part of the system–to not just talk, but to design together. Its Appreciative Inquiry Summits–large group design labs–have taken place in Worcester; in Albany; and in the whole statewide energy planning in Massachussets with Governor Deval Patrick.  Read more

Feb 19

Fairmount Minerals Secret to Success: Combine High Engagment with Sustainable Design and High Integrity Leadership

See on Scoop.itBusiness as an Agent of World Benefit

Fairmount Minerals sand products deliver exceptional performance for the oil & gas, water filtration, foundry, glass, sports, recreation and building industries.

David Cooperrider‘s insight:

Fairmount Minerals, a couple of years ago, was singled out by the US Chamber as the #1 corporate citizen in America. Today embedded sustainability and positive organization development are the twin commitments that continue to propel their growth, empowerment goals, and community engagement strategies. The CFO headed up the launching of the sustainable development strategic change process with a “whole-system-in-the room summit–and it was an example that is now being modeled and benchmarked around the world. It involved a shift from micro-management skills to macro-management skills and tools. One of those tools is the appreciative inquiry sustainable design summit–or “AI Summit” for short.

Here is a short description from an article published in Organizational Dynamics titled: “The Concentration Effect of Strengths”–see: http://www.davidcooperrider.com/

Today the CFO is now CEO of the company, but that’s getting ahead of the story… Read more

Feb 18

Walmart Reports on Positive Change Milestones and Shares Its Sustainability Knowledge Openly

See on Scoop.itBusiness as an Agent of World Benefit

David Cooperrider‘s insight:

How many  major corporations have set real environmental business goals like WalMart–with both world impact and business benefit? The retailer set a 2020 target to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy and create zero waste.

Its a thrill to track Walmart’s continuing journey in the sustainable innovation domain.  Early on, while I helped to  lead the appreciative inquiry sustainable design summit “whole system in the room” planning process, I met so many great thinkers, innovators and leaders–from the Blu Skye strategy firm to learning partnerships with Interface, Pategonia, General Mills, and many others.  It was so clear how the best in people comes out when two things happen: (1) you bring in the meaningful outside, that is stakeholders from customers to supply chain partners and communities; and (2) you bring the search for sustainable value into the mix.  There is a formula emerging here where instead of starting with whats wrong, you start by concentrating liminal strengths, what I call wholepower:

Positive change = wholepower X whypower X waypower Read more

Feb 17

Apple Will Emerge as a Positive Force in Sustainability, Renewable Energy, and Responsible Suppy Chain Leadership–Its Happening, and Its Important.

See on Scoop.itBusiness as an Agent of World Benefit

“Brandchannel – always branding. always on. (Apple makes improvements in #supplychain #sustainability http://t.co/0ai98e2aTU via @brandchannelhub)”

David Cooperrider‘s insight:

Apple’s Lisa Jackson is overseeing Apple’s commitment to 100% renewable energy; Apple has made systemic strides in its supplier responsibility goals; and Apple moving into health advances, educational advances, nutritional excellence advances like never before. Steve Jobs’ goal of putting a ding into the universe is expanding rapidly beyond insanely great products. One of the tools used to advance supply chain visions and responsibility goals was the Appreciative inquiry Design Summit. It involves bringing the whole system into the room as collaborative partners, sometimes as many as 100- 500 people, including customers, and workers and managers from every level and every country involved.

For more on the positive change approach of the Appreciative Inquiry Summit, see the following link and blog post and the pdf at the end on “The Positive Arc of Systemic Strengths. Click here:

http://www.davidcooperrider.com/2013/11/23/the-best-plan-is-the-plan-you-do%E2%80%94-regional-economic-development-is-all-about-uniting-strengths/

 

See on www.brandchannel.com

Feb 15

Good Design Is Good For Business: Hard Data

See on Scoop.itBusiness as an Agent of World Benefit

A new analysis by the Design Management Institute concludes that design-driven businesses have outperformed the SampP by a whopping 228 over the past…

David Cooperrider‘s insight:

In this study, design-inspired companies had these characteristics: design had to be embedded within the company’s organizational structure; design leadership had to be present at senior and divisional levels; and there had to be a senior-level commitment to design’s use as an innovation resource and a force for positive change.

The new analysis puts real numbers to what design junkies suspected all along: in the past 10 years, design-driven companies outperformed the Standard & Poor’s 500–a stock market index of 500 large publicly traded companies–by 228%.

Likewise, our strengths-based applied practice, with the next generation Appreciative Inquiry Summit called “the sustainable design factory”–has taught us that design-inspired x sustainable value x whole system collaboration= the fastest way to bring out the best in people, stakeholder relationships, and passion for higher performance. Read on:

http://www.davidcooperrider.com/2012/04/22/the-concentration-effect-of-strengths/

See on www.fastcodesign.com

We are happy to offer you a complimentary download of the Leadership Excellence Magazine.

Leadership Excellence is a leading monthly digest offering the world’s best value-centered, principle-based ideas and strategies for organizational and executive development. Each month, 16 to 20 of the world’s leading thinkers and practitioners share their cutting edge management ideas and strategies in digest format. We are delighted to let you know that David Cooperrider, Professor and Author of AI, is featured on this month’s front cover which also includes two articles by David — Three Circles and Innovation’s New Frontier. Learn more...