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Spaciousness Theory of Change

The Spaciousness Theory of Change states that when leaders and their teams experience a sense of spaciousness within, not outside of, the complexity and conflict of these times, they can make decisions that inspire inclusion, innovation, and action plans for results that are collectively owned. 

For organisations to be able to successfully navigate our volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous (VUCA) world, our theory of change invites a strengths-based approach: when we focus on the possibilities more than shortcomings, and do so in a manner that connects our curiosity with our compassion — firstly within ourselves and then to each other — we experience spaciousness.

When experiencing spaciousness, people confirm feeling included and acting more inclusively and equitably with others, and able to generate exponential ideas leading to self-organizing, inspired action.

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Cruz Teller, T. (2020). Inspiring Inclusion Using the Appreciative Leadership Lotus Model. In B. M. Ferdman, J. Prime, R. Riggio (Eds.), Inclusive Leadership: Transforming Diverse Lives, Organizations, and Societies. New York: Routledge.

Teoría del Cambio Amplitud

La Teoría del Cambio Amplitud establece que cuando los líderes y sus equipos experimentan una sensación de amplitud dentro, no fuera de, la complejidad y el conflicto de estos tiempos, pueden tomar decisiones que inspiren inclusión, innovación y planes de acción para resultados de propiedad colectiva.

Para que las organizaciones puedan navegar con éxito nuestro mundo volátil, incierto, complejo y ambiguo (VUCA por sus siglas en inglés), nuestra teoría del cambio invita a un enfoque basado en las fortalezas: cuando nos concentramos en las posibilidades más que en las deficiencias, y lo hacemos de una manera que vincule la curiosidad con la compasión —en primer lugar, dentro de nosotros mismos, y luego entre nosotros — experimentamos amplitud.

Al experimentar amplitud, las personas confirman sentirse incluidas y actuar de manera más inclusiva y equitativa con los demás, y son capaces de generar ideas exponenciales que conduzcan a la acción autoorganizada e inspirada.

Spaciousness Theory of Change

The Spaciousness Theory of Change states that when leaders and their teams experience a sense of spaciousness within, not outside of, the complexity and conflict of these times, they can make decisions that inspire inclusion, innovation, and action plans for results that are collectively owned. 

For organisations to be able to successfully navigate our volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous (VUCA) world, our theory of change invites a strengths-based approach: when we focus on the possibilities more than shortcomings, and do so in a manner that connects our curiosity with our compassion — firstly within ourselves and then to each other — we experience spaciousness.

When experiencing spaciousness, people confirm feeling included and acting more inclusively and equitably with others, and able to generate exponential ideas leading to self-organizing, inspired action.

ABOUT

Cruz Teller, T. (2020). Inspiring Inclusion Using the Appreciative Leadership Lotus Model. In B. M. Ferdman, J. Prime, R. Riggio (Eds.), Inclusive Leadership: Transforming Diverse Lives, Organizations, and Societies. New York: Routledge.

Teoría del Cambio Amplitud

La Teoría del Cambio Amplitud establece que cuando los líderes y sus equipos experimentan una sensación de amplitud dentro, no fuera de, la complejidad y el conflicto de estos tiempos, pueden tomar decisiones que inspiren inclusión, innovación y planes de acción para resultados de propiedad colectiva.

Para que las organizaciones puedan navegar con éxito nuestro mundo volátil, incierto, complejo y ambiguo (VUCA por sus siglas en inglés), nuestra teoría del cambio invita a un enfoque basado en las fortalezas: cuando nos concentramos en las posibilidades más que en las deficiencias, y lo hacemos de una manera que vincule la curiosidad con la compasión —en primer lugar, dentro de nosotros mismos, y luego entre nosotros — experimentamos amplitud.

Al experimentar amplitud, las personas confirman sentirse incluidas y actuar de manera más inclusiva y equitativa con los demás, y son capaces de generar ideas exponenciales que conduzcan a la acción autoorganizada e inspirada.

Appreciative Leadership Lotus Model

In reflecting on what central principles emerged from our practice, the lotus model surfaced as a generative metaphor guiding our model of an appreciative leadership process that can create spaciousness: inclusion, innovation and inspired action.

The lotus model with its three key principles — a muddy birthplace representing the belief that there are strengths to be found in any current situation, inherent wisdom within a group of people, and emergence as a valued process of knowing and coming into being — underpin a process of four iterative steps: establish a positive relationship to self (Renew); deepen one’s compassion and connection to others (Relate); imagine a shared future by co-creating it (Co-Create); commit to inspired actions, together (Resolve).

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Modelo de Liderazgo Apreciativo Flor de Loto

Al reflexionar sobre qué principios centrales surgieron de nuestra práctica, el loto surgió como una metáfora funcional y se convirtió en nuestro modelo de un proceso de liderazgo apreciativo que puede crear amplitud.

 El modelo de loto, con sus tres principios clave: un lugar de nacimiento fangoso representa la creencia de que se pueden encontrar fortalezas en cualquier situación actual, la sabiduría inherente dentro de un grupo de personas, y el surgimiento como un valioso proceso de conocer y nacer —sustentan un proceso de cuatro pasos iterativos: establecer una relación positiva con uno mismo (Renovar); profundizar la compasión y la conexión con los demás (Relacionarse); imaginar un futuro compartido co-creándolo (Co-Crear); comprometerse juntos a acciones inspiradas (Resolver).

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ABOUT OUR FOUNDER

TANYA CRUZ TELLER

Tanya (she/her) has over 20 years global organization development (OD) experience.  She is committed to a intercultural, diverse, equitable and inclusive world through building great organizations using Appreciative Inquiry. 

Tanya earned her MA in International and Intercultural Management (School for International Training) and has a BA Psychology and Sociology Cum Laude (Brandeis). 

As a OD practitioner, Tanya has worked for and with governments, global non-profit organizations and businesses to create a more equitable society through maximizing belonging, innovation and inspired action. Tanya is an expert panelist for the Global Diversity Equity and Inclusion Benchmarks, a TAOS Associate, and member of the International & Organization Development Networks, the Diversity2K, currently serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Appreciative Inquiry, and served on the boards of the Rutland Corner Foundation and ATD Editorial Board.  

Tanya is a certified Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Trainer (CAI), Trainer of Trainers and an Assessor (South Africa) and taught in the David L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry at the Robert P. Stiller School of Business, Champlain College. Tanya is trained, designs and facilitates with Theory U, Open Space Technology and World Cafe. Click here to see Tanya’s publications. 

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SENIOR ASSOCIATE

STEPHEN READ

Stephen (he/him) is a Mental Fitness Coach, certified through Positive Intelligence, that mentors leaders across many industries including media, tech, retail, logistics, hospitality and education working in world class urban areas through to informal settlements. 

Stephen’s 30 years of experience, including as the National Director of The Mankind Project (MKP) in South Africa and a member of the International MKP Council, guides his passion working with men in various countries on issues of race, gender, sexual orientation and other systemic and cultural systems of power and privilege.

He featured as a panel judge on Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs, the largest African entrepreneur reality show, syndicated across Africa through 6 different TV stations for 5 years. Stephen is also the SA Ambassador to the World Union of Small and Medium Enterprises and has also served in roles as the Director: Strategic Alliances at the International Coach Federation (ICF), South Africa Chapter, Co-founding Director of Redeeming Hope for the Disabled and mentor for Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). Stephen holds a Diploma in Project Management (Damelin) and Certificate in Inclusive Leadership (University of Denver Colorado).

Positive Intelligence Coach

Testimonials

Tanya is one of the best systems thinkers I know. 

Julie O’Mara, Author, former President of The American Society for Training and Development (now ATD)

I had the good fortune to partner with Tanya Cruz Teller for nearly a year, as part of a complex, DEI-centered strategic planning process. I experienced her to be deeply reflective, highly intelligent, creative, intuitive and affirming. The trusting partnerships she formed with leaders and staff alike enabled her to track patterns in the broader organization, and to use her influence in service of the whole.

Tanya’s design skills are nothing short of brilliant. Drawing from a variety of disciplines (Appreciative Inquiry, Organization Development and more), she achieves just the right combination and pace of activities to deeply engage participants’ heads, hearts and hands in service of the stated goals. As a thought partner, she regularly tweaked my draft agendas in simple but vitally important ways, to significantly enhance their impact.

Finally, as a public speaker, Tanya is warm, present, reflective, and responsive to her audience. When needed, she can quickly adapt either content or delivery. She knows how to “share the stage” with others (both partners and participants), and her use of language, humor and story engages, empowers and energizes. 

Amanda Trosten-Bloom, Co-Founder and Principal at Rocky Mountain Center for Positive Change

Stephen is a truly exceptional coach. He has an intuitive style, is gentle yet firm and is full of encouragement. He’s worked with me for several years guiding me, motivating me and stretching me into my fuller potential.

Stephen challenges me in a way that helps bring out the best in me. He just gets the things that trip me up and helps me to reframe a better route to a more successful career/life. I cannot recommend Stephen highly enough. 

Bruce Grater, Independent Non-Executive Director and Chairperson of Prudential’s Life Insurance and Unit Trust subsidiaries

Thank you Stephen! I feel deep appreciation for you, your wisdom, and the experience you created for all of us. Everyone I have connected with has agreed about the deeply personal impact this class has had upon them.

Teale Greylord, Health Equity Strategist within the Office of Policy & Practice Alignment, Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Stephen’s strategies are unique and his advice is second to none. I also love his speed when it comes to Implementation. Stephen’s many business experiences is what we are enjoying today. It’s absolutely what makes him an outstanding coach. A man of his words!

Dr. Summy Smart Francis, Special Adviser on Entrepreneurship, Ondo State Government, Nigeria

Marlene Ogawa (she/her)

Marlene Ogawa (she/her)

Consulting Associate

Natasja van der Merwe (she/her)

Natasja van der Merwe (she/her)

Operations Manager

Ayanda Zaca (he/him)

Ayanda Zaca (he/him)

Associate

Dr. Nicole Bossard (she/her)

Dr. Nicole Bossard (she/her)

Associate

Anele Mkumla (she/her)

Anele Mkumla (she/her)

Administrative Assistant

being in our strengths, together.