CDI Help Center

Welcome to CDI’s Help Center where you can find answers to all of the questions that we have been asked. Questions and answers are grouped into the following three categories:

CDI Mission and Focus
CDI Virtual Courses and Series
CDI Participants, Scheduling and Enrollment

CDI Mission and Focus

What is CDI’s Mission?
The mission of CDI is to use its Courses and Certificate-Series online programs to provide:





  • Affordable, accessible consultant training and development to individuals in all types of organizations, especially to people and organizations in need
  • Essential and comprehensive knowledge in the consulting discipline for a firm foundation in which more complex strategies can be built
  • Practitioners, who focus primarily on a single skill-set, the confidence and capabilities to focus on a range of skills needed to work effectively within organizations
  • Guidelines for consultants to work in an authentic and collaborative manner
  • A range of practical resources that can be used in consulting practices
  • Ongoing guidance and Provide ongoing guidance and support to participants in their application of the new learning in the Certificate-Series
Why Aren’t People Skills Enough for Long-Lasting Problem Solving in Organizations?
People skills are very powerful for successfully engaging with people, including to cultivate their ongoing understanding, participation and commitment in consulting projects. However, people skills alone are usually not sufficient for accomplishing long-lasting change in organizations because struggling organizations often need, not only better people skills, but much better strategies, structures and systems within the organization. Therefore, to help a client to accomplish long-lasting organizational change, the consultant should have strong consulting, people, organizational and systems skills.
Why Aren’t Specialist Skills Enough for Long-Lasting Problem Solving in Organizations?
It is not uncommon that, after a specialist has provided one “solution to a specific problem in the struggling team, process or organization, that solution uncovers yet another problem elsewhere. That often is because the most apparent recurring technical problems are usually just symptoms of larger, ongoing problems in the overall organization. Sometimes, a strong technical expertise can actually blind the consultant from seeing problems outside of one’s expertise. Therefore, to help a client to accomplish long-lasting change in a team, process or organization, the consultant should have strong consulting, people, organizational and systems skills.
What if I Prefer to Remain a Specialist Consultant? You can.

You can, if you prefer. CDI provides the information, materials, guidance and support for you to become an even better specialist. You will be even more accurate at discovering the real causes of issues in your client’s organization, including whether the client really needs your expertise or needs attention elsewhere in the organization. You will be even more effective in your specialty because you will always know just where to focus your efforts in your specialty and you will understand more about its effects on the rest of the activities in the client’s organization.

What If I Prefer to Consult Just to Nonprofits? Just to For-Profits? You can.

The vast majority of systems, principles and processes in organizations are common to both nonprofits and for-profits. However, if a group of learners chooses to go through a Certificate-Series together and they are from the same type of organization, then the content could be customized to the type of organization, for example, for-profit, nonprofit or government.

Does CDI Teach ||Organization Development||?

We believe that a professional OD consultant should have broad knowledge and expertise in the social and behavioral sciences, group development, process consultation, and organizational strategies and structures, along with strong expertise in change management. That level of generalist expertise comes from many years of training and experience. The focus of CDI is on the foundational consulting processes that underlie any successful application of OD. In addition to a focus on generalists (the types of consultants often found in the field of OD), CDI also focuses on specialists in any type of consulting.

Does CDI Teach a Certain Proprietary Model of Consulting? No, it's open and universal.

No. CDI does not teach a certain proprietary model of consulting. Instead, CDI equips consultants to customize a systematic consulting process to suit the nature and needs of any type of organization. To successfully implement any model of consulting, the practitioner must have a solid foundation of consulting skills. CDI develops that solid foundation. Thus, CDI is very relevant to any model of consulting.

Will CDI Train Me in All Methods to Guide Change? No, the foundations for all methods, though.

While CDI will not develop deep expertise and skills in all major methods for guiding change (for example, Future Search Conference, McKinsey 7S and Six Sigma), CDI’s Courses will guide learners to grasp the big picture in organizations and the most important systems within it, along with knowing the critical elements of any plan for significant change in organizations.

Will CDI Teach Me a Certain Specialty for Guiding Change? No, the foundations for all specialties, though.

While CDI will not develop deep expertise and skills in a particular specialty (for example, in financial analysis or project management). CDI will impart various best practices in the system of each of the most common management functions that occur in any type of organization, for example, in Boards of Directors, strategic planning, marketing, staffing and finances (also, in fundraising in nonprofits).

CDI Virtual Courses and Certificate-Series

Who are the Faculty?

Our faculty members and senior associates include widely experienced practitioners with extensive expertise in consulting and in training consultants to work in for-profits, nonprofits and government. We also work with a large number of highly experienced associates, each of whom has also worked with us in various successful consulting projects.

What is a Course? Certificate-Series?

The course is a compact, self-paced learning activity that helps you generate new knowledge about a specific topic. It  includes a pre-assessment of your current learning, a Learning Journal, a video/lecture, numerous tools, sources for additional learning, and a post-assessment of your new learning.  A course can take from 60 to 90 minutes to complete if the student decides to take the course as part of earning a certificate.  A course must be completed within 30 days. A Certificate-Series is a highly integrated set of online courses to guide you to develop a skill set in a certain practice, and grants a Certificate in that practice.  It is self-paced and must be completed within 60 days, unless an extension is granted.

What is the Fee? How Do I Pay?

Fees for courses range from $25 to $35 each and are specified on each course’s webpage.  Fees for Certificate-Series are specified on each webpage, as well.  Each webpage guides you to the Learning Management System where you can pay the fee with any major credit card and immediately begin your learning.

Course and Certificate-Series specifies its fee. Fees must be paid upon enrollment. Each page directs you to CDI’s learning site where you can use PayPal to use any major credit to pay the fee.You get immediate access as soon as you pay.

What Policies Must I Abide By?

CDI has various policies that you have agreed to abide by, if you use any of CDI’s services. Policies are in regard to rights of ownership, usage of materials, cancellation, refunds, security, privacy, disclaimers and the honor code. See Legal, Policies and Terms.

How Do I Know Which Courses or Series to Take?

Read the description of a likely course or Certificate-Series, along with its learning outcomes and the downloadable tools in order to decide if those resources would enhance your life and work.  If you still have questions, feel free to contact us, including with information about your primary interest or goal in undertaking the course of Certificate-Series.

How Do We Communicate With Faculty?

Enrolled students can join CDI’s Discussion Group (a Facebook group) to conveniently share questions, answers and materials with faculty and fellow students.

How Does the Learning and Development Journal Work?

One of the most important skills for any consultant is the skill of continuously learning by reflecting on past and current experiences. CDI’s Learning and Development Journal poses thoughtful questions to learners to help them deepen and enrich their learning from each of the courses and Certificate-Series. The Journal is available as a downloadable tool in each course. The Journal is emailed to faculty after each course at (and to the cohort facilitator, if applicable).

Is There a Course or Series Focused on Nonprofits?

Many people believe that nonprofits are completely different than for-profits. Many other people believe that major differences between organizations are determined primarily by their size, culture and current stage in their life cycle. So those people would assert that a small nonprofit is a lot more like a small for-profit than a large nonprofit. The vast majority of content in courses is relevant to all types of organizations.  However, CDI does clarify differences where they occur.

CDI Participants, Scheduling and Enrollment

Who Does CDI Accept as Participants?

The most successful participants in CDI’s virtual courses and Certificate-Series tend to be highly motivated, self-directed individuals who see strong value in distance learning and just-in-time learning. People who thrive in traditional instructor-led courses based primarily on lectures, tests and grading might struggle a bit, at first, to adjust to the state-of-the-art methods used in CDI.

How Long Does it Take to Complete a Virtual Course? Certificate-Series?

It can take a minimum of 60 minutes and up to 90 minutes to meet the minimum requirements for a course to qualify for a Certificate-Series. You can do different components of a course at different times. Learners can maximize their learning by attending to the suggested resources for additional learning that are specified in the course. The length of a Certificate-Series ranges from four hours to 14 hours depending on the number of courses.Lengths of time are specified in each course and Certificate-Series. Courses and Certificate-Series are self-paced.  A course must be completed within 30 days and a Certificate-Series with 60 unless an extension is granted.

Do Applicants Have to Have a Current Consulting Project?

No. While it is ideal for each applicant to have a current consulting project in which to apply new learning, that is not always possible for all applicants.

When Do You Enroll New Students in a Course or Series?

The quick enrollment process is specified at the bottom of each course and Certificate-Series.  Enrollment begins after you pay the fee and you can begin your learning right away.

Can Participants in CDI Be from the Same Organization?
Yes, we have successfully worked with participants from the same organization, including participants having the same supervisor.
How Many Consultants Have You Trained?
Our faculty and some of our associates started training consultants almost 20 years ago and since then, we have trained 100s of people to consult, including in the roles of advisor, coach, facilitator and mentor.
Do You Collaborate With Organizations to Complement Their Services?

Yes, we will work with organizations to complement their services by integrating our virtual courses and Certificate-Series into their development programs and offerings for their constituents. See ideas to Partner With Us.

How Do I Enroll?

You can quickly enroll from the bottom of each course or Certificate-Series and begin your learning right away.


Got a question? Want to talk to us?

Contact CDI at or its sponsoring organization, Authenticity Consulting, LLC, at (763) 971-8890.