Frequently Asked Questions

Interested in partnering with Active Choices, Inc. for Positive Energy Workplace Initiative™ (PEW-i) memberships, programs, or training tracks? Below are the most common inquiries we receive from leaders. Still have questions? Please reach out!

The Positive Energy Workplace Initiative™ (PEW-i)

What is the Positive Energy Workplace Initiative™ (PEW-i)?

At Active Choices, Inc., we are committed to creating a world where every leader, in every organization, at every level, shows up as the most powerful version of themselves, every single day. Through the PEW Initiative, we support the leaders and companies who believe in the power of healthy, productive, and positively contagious workplace cultures. In the PEW-i community network, you’ll find collective resources around the IEP Methodology, thought leadership and culture-building best practices and trainings, and IEP Method® resources, coaches, and experts. 

What is a Positive Energy Workplace?

Based on data-driven insights, proven best practices, and collective experiences, we have found that the following seven components help create an authentic and sustainable “positive energy workplace”:

  1. People are present, energized, and happy to come to work.
  2. People are aligned and clear on their intentions and mission.
  3. People are connected to the purpose, values, and vision of the organization. 
  4. People own their roles and relationships and are accountable for their actions and leadership.
  5. People feel safe to engage, disagree, speak up, take risks, and have hard conversations. 
  6. People are championed in the acts and conversations of self-care and authentic emotion.
  7. The culture is set up for success in a way that fosters all of the above at every level of leadership in the organization. 

The IEP Method® provides a proven framework for leaders, teams, and organizations to align with each of these components and encourage positive growth. 

We measure and track the health of these factors through our Positive Energy Workplace Initiative™ Diagnostic (PEW-iD) Assessment, as well as through stakeholder interviews and focus groups with various members of partner organizations to collect qualitative data.

Why should we create a Positive Energy Workplace?

The intention of becoming a Positive Energy Workplace is to enable the greatest productivity, collaboration, connection, innovation, and impact possible while nourishing the human spirit and building the human capital in your organization so that people show up and perform at their best, feel their best, and direct their energy in the most optimal way to create the impact you are all here to create.

The IEP Method® focuses on empowering each and every leader to show up as their best selves, each and every day. This framework encourages self-care and personal responsibility for our own impact, asking for support when needed, and bringing awareness to our own intentions, energy, presence, and actions. 

With collective practice, the methodology creates a sustainable foundation for useful leadership and a positive energy workplace, and the following can occur:

  • Greater psychological safety which leads to honest conversations, authentic leadership and relationships, stronger retention rates, and ultimately greater creativity and results.
  • People are healthier, happier, and connected to purpose which means less lost time, burnout, and expense, and more energy, vitality, and drive to focus on results and impact.
  • Shorter, more effective, and energizing meetings as time, energy, talent, conversations, and meetings are managed more intentionally, effectively, and efficiently.
  • Internal workforce trust and integrity = external consumer and brand trust. 
  • Leaders and managers show up with better behaviors and leadership presence making them more trustworthy, inspirational, and effective.
  • Training and development initiatives are amplified and embodied, rather than just “checking the box” without results. This creates trustworthy skills, sustainable behavior change, and a greater return on investment for current and future initiatives.
  • Retain high-performance talent and increase and attract new talent (and great customers, too).
  • When you improve communication with intentions and presence, it creates greater clarity and collaboration, which results in saved time, energy, money, resources, and credibility. 
  • Greater innovation, complex problem-solving, and productivity are more accessible. Creativity and performance are optimized due to less drama and static in communications.
  • People feel good and in integrity, and come to work because they WANT to versus HAVE to.
  • You have more impact as a leader AND you contribute to the future health of business and humans in the world, without feeling exhausted or on the verge of burnout.

To recap: Creating a Positive Energy Workplace will greatly impact your bottom-line results and performance, retain and attract top talent, and create a more innovative and productive workforce.

What is the PEW-i Community Platform/Portal?

The Positive Energy Workplace Initiative™ (PEW-i) Community Platform is an exclusive portal for clients of Active Choices, Inc. Organizations may reserve seats for their employees and leaders based on the program or membership enrollment with ACI.

The platform includes a web-based and mobile app to easily access IEP Method® tools and resources to help your employees become impactful and productive leaders. 

Depending on the level of access, monthly programming includes virtual Learning Labs and Q&A Sessions with IEP Method experts, self-study courses for micro-learning, professional credentialing, access to quarterly IEP Fundamentals (virtual courses), an authentically supportive community so that your organization’s employees remain actively involved and learning, and much more.

You may enroll as many organizational members as you like, at any level, in the community platform. When you add 50+ employees, your organization will receive its own branded space with company-specific content and support. 

Members of PEW-i who fulfill the credentialing and participation requirements can also access individual professional credentials as well as organizational certification as a Certified Positive Energy Workplace™ on the PEW-i platform. 

To ensure the greatest impact and alignment with the PEW Initiative, organizational sponsorship is required to join the community. 

The IEP Method®

What is the IEP Method® and why is it important?

The IEP Method is a proprietary, statistically-driven methodology created by Anese Cavanaugh, CEO of Active Choices, Inc. and founder of The Positive Energy Workplace Initiative™. Intentional Energetic Presence® (IEP) is a framework for leaders at any level in an organization to take accountability for their own impact by focusing on the intentions, energy, and presence they bring into the workplace.

IEP is at play in how we show up in the world and the energy that we bring into everything that we do. Whether we’re talking to our kids, running a sales meeting, having a challenging conversation, or having a heart-to-heart with a dear friend. Our energy can make or break the difference between creating a positive connection or creating resistance. 

The IEP Methodology is at the core of creating a positively contagious culture, where people feel safe to take risks, speak truthfully, and perform at their best. Learn more here.

Partnering with Active Choices, Inc. (ACI)

How can we get started exploring options and pricing with ACI?

Your organization is unique! While our website provides great insight into what might work best for your workforce, we recommend having a live conversation with one of our team members to finalize your needs. 

Our 4-step discovery process ensures that we understand and can meet your organization’s unique culture and objectives. 

First, you can contact us and we’ll coordinate a 20-minute Introduction & Right Fit conversation to get to know each other and ensure it makes sense to explore further. 

If we decide to move forward together, we’ll move into the remaining steps of our discovery process to ensure the most optimized use of everyone’s time, focus, and energy.

What is ACI’s 4-step discovery process?

Our 4-step discovery process ensures that we understand and can meet your organization’s unique culture and objectives.

The first step in our process is to have a 20-minute Introduction & Right Fit conversation. The goal of this discussion is for us to better understand at a high level what type of support you are looking for, and for both you and us to get a sense if we would be a right fit for one another. Contact us if you’re ready for step one, and we’ll coordinate a time to quickly connect!

Second, if we decide together to move forward, we’ll have a Capabilities and Priorities conversation. During this session, we’ll provide you with more context on the various ways we can support and work with you. Many times, our clients discover during this step that we have a service or program that’s an even better fit than what they originally had in mind!

Our third and fourth steps — which can happen in the same meeting — are Needs Discovery and Co-Creation to 100%. In these steps, we ensure we thoroughly understand the current situation and your specific measurable goals. This also allows us all to have the most effective and real-time communication and collaboration.

We recommend confirming that your decision maker(s), financial supporter, and logistics champion are able to join in the Needs Discovery and Co-Creation session.

We approach all our work with clients through this proprietary process, and utilize it with new and existing clients with great success. With this process, our intention is to provide the most aligned and efficient use of everyone’s time, focus, and energy!

We need support right away. What do you recommend?

Depending on the size of your team and/or organization, the Cultural Health & Intentional Strategic Energetic Leadership Lab (CHISEL™) is an effective route to get started if you’re not sure where to begin or how to focus your culture initiatives. 

CHISEL is designed for your executive/leadership team as a diagnostic, educational, and strategic foundation for your workplace culture development. 

CHISEL is great foundation if you need your leadership team to 1) get into alignment about the current health and needs of your team and organization, 2) build the vision and plan for the culture you want to create, and/or, 3) simply do a reset as a team and create a strong foundation and agreements to lead from. 

View more details about options to get started here.  

Note: Our Positive Energy Workplace™ enterprise solution includes the CHISEL package and a scaled approach to programming. Contact us if you’d like to explore options.

If I complete an IEP Method® training course or attend a session, will I be able to teach the IEP tools to my team/company?

No. You will learn skills and tools that will support you in helping your team be more effective, and we encourage you to share some of the activities with your team, but completing the core training does not enable facilitation.

As you complete the coursework, you’ll learn that this methodology is all about YOU! Our courses are designed with the intention to support you, build your own Intentional Energetic Presence®, and strengthen your leadership.

Our facilitators and IEP-Activators in client companies are trained through an intentional process that supports them in successful teaching of the IEP Method and embodying the work at a deeper level.

We offer facilitator training and train-the-trainer programming in advanced training tracks, and are happy to build this level into enterprise-wide engagements.

Why should we partner with ACI for support? Can’t we just read the books (Contagious You and Contagious Culture) as a team?

The books provide the exploration and cognitive lessons for the IEP Methodology, but they do not provide the experience, customization, or real-time facilitation needed to embody the practice. We’re often told that there is no comparison when it comes to our live trainings and self-study resources versus reading the books alone. 

You are more than welcome to order one or both of the IEP Method® books and distribute them to your team/organization, and we often recommend this as a first step in our partnerships with companies dedicated to workforce culture enhancement. (Pro Tip: If you are considering a bulk book order purchase, please reach out and we can provide options to explore that aren’t publicly available.) 

Enterprise Solutions

What are the best-value enterprise programs?

With many years of testing, refining, and engagement, we’ve developed three enterprise pathways that offer the greatest holistic support and value for companies: 

  • Does your organization need a reset? The Reset + Rise program is the solution to renew your people.


  • With the Positive Energy Leadership training track, you can develop your leadership team (and emerging leaders) through focused and intentional IEP Method training to level-up their leadership skills, presence, and impact.


  • Is your organization ready to become a Certified Positive Energy Workplace? The PEW Certified Workplace track is the solution to meet your needs.

These training tracks are designed with the most efficiency and scalability in mind, and provide your company with a comprehensive culture-optimization solution. A closing Capstone Session is included, which provides a metrics-based summary of the program results, celebrates the impact points, and offers strategic and inspiring recommendations for how everyone can continue to support the IEP work in the organization. Companies may also run multiple tracks based on the current needs of the organizational workforce.

All enterprise programs also include membership in the Positive Energy Workplace Initiative™ Community Platform and access to corresponding certifications based on the track. Groups of 50+ will also receive a company-branded space for private interactions and collaboration for your employees. 

Additional ‘boosters’ are available for training tracks and as add-ons for programming, including the Cultural Health & Intentional Strategy Executive Lab (CHISEL™), Experiential Keynotes, IEP Leadership Cohorts, IEP Fundamentals Training, Executive Coaching, and the PEW-i Diagnostic.  We’ll work with you to determine what is most appropriate based upon your needs, budget, bandwidth, and timeline.

Are enterprise programs virtual or in-person?

Both! At ACI, we understand the power of in-person sessions — there is nothing like soaking up the energy in the room and solidifying great learning in a group setting while everyone is together, sharing the same experience. But we also understand that sometimes it is just not possible for everyone to be in person, so we also offer virtual trainings based on certain circumstances.

It is very common to have the Kickoff Keynote and 2-Day Training in person (though depending on timing the Keynote can be done weeks before the training virtually) and then to have all additional debriefs, training, and engagements virtually. Executive Retreats are in person.

What is the Executive Retreat?

A one- to two-day in-person retreat for your executives is offered with the The PEW Certified Workplace track and may be completed in conjunction with the debrief of the PEW-i Diagnostic.

Executives in attendance will learn ACI’s core framework, the IEP Method®, how to integrate it into their everyday lives, and how to encourage and inspire their employees to participate in this work (so it is by invitation, not mandate).

Your executives will walk away from the retreat with new awareness and knowledge to support your workforce’s cultural health, and how ACI will support your organization through innovation and change.

An Executive Retreat or a Cultural Health & Intentional Strategic Energetic Leadership Lab (CHISEL) may be booked ad hoc, or may be added as a booster to any program or engagement.

What is the 2-Day IEP Leadership Training?

This is a training typically completed in-person over two days for groups of up to 50 at a time, and it’s recommended that management/leadership-level employees start the training first. This training can also be completed virtually over four half-days for particular circumstances.

The Leadership Training is included in all three of ACI’s enterprise-level training packages. Participants will learn specific skills and tools based on the training package, but all packages include the following foundational components:

  • The IEP Method® and how to integrate it personally and professionally.
  • How to lead and participate in clear and efficient meetings and conversations, skipping workplace drama.
  • How to become strong leaders, create positivity on their teams, and take (and inspire) accountability.
  • How to avoid (or navigate or transform) burnout.
  • How to give and take productive feedback, navigate conflict, and co-design relationships.
  • How to enroll and support others in this work, improving your entire organization’s cultural health.

The IEP Fundamentals live training may be booked separately for teams or as an add-on to any programs or enterprise training tracks. The latter can be incredibly helpful for extended workforce or direct reports NOT in a primary training track. 

The IEP Fundamentals self-study training course is also available in the PEW-i Community Platform, however we recommend setting a solid foundation with the live training experience first, and then using the course as a resource for scaling.

What is the IEP Fundamentals Live Training?

The IEP Fundamentals live training may be completed in person (one full day) or virtually (two half days) and provides participants with a greater understanding of the core elements of The IEP Method® and each person’s individual IEP. Participants will learn how to apply the concepts in a professional setting, how to develop a deeper awareness and mindset around personal impact, and receive actionable tools and practices to strengthen one’s Intentional Energetic Presence® and their intentions, energy, and presence. 

Participants may also have access to the PEW-i Community Platform (and an organization’s private space and tools, when applicable) once they have completed the IEP Fundamentals training. (Best Practice: These sessions often take place after an initial 2-Day IEP Leadership Training with senior leaders so leaders can embody the work, encourage participation and excitement, and create deeper sustainable integration in the company.) 

The IEP Fundamentals live training may be booked separately for teams or as an add-on to any programs or enterprise training tracks. The latter can be incredibly helpful for extended workforce or direct reports NOT in a primary training track. 

The IEP Fundamentals self-study training course is also available in the PEW-i Community Platform, however we recommend setting a solid foundation with the live training experience first, and then using the course as a resource for scaling.

What is a Leadership Cohort?

A leadership cohort is completed virtually and typically includes participants who have attended the 2-Day IEP Leadership Training (however, can be built in after the IEP Fundamentals for some enterprise-wide engagements). Participants are divided into smaller groups of 10 each, and experience deeper IEP Method trainings, facilitated group meetings, and private coaching sessions. We encourage multiple cohorts within your organization –  spread across teams and departments when possible – for greater cross-functional integration.

Participants in these groups learn how to become (authentically) positive leaders and how to spread this message across your organization. They also learn how to have difficult conversations, apply everything they are learning in real-time, and deepen trust and connection on their teams.

Cohorts may be booked as an add-on to any programs or enterprise training tracks where the 2-Day IEP Leadership Training is also included.

Here is an example of a 4-month cohort journey:

  • Pre-Launch:
    • Applications & Announcement of Cohort Participants
    • Individual Prep Work, Assessments, Scheduling
    • 1-1 Pre-Session with Coach
    • Access to private cohort space on the PEW-i Community Platform
  • Cohort Launch
  • Month 1: Group Session + Individual Session(s) 
  • Month 2: Group Session + Individual Session(s)
  • Month 2: Group Session + Individual Session(s)
  • Month 4: Reflection/Graduation Session
  • Continued access to private cohort space for length of organization’s membership

What is included in the Capstone Session?

The Capstone Session serves as a “graduation” for executives and cohort participants, and includes a keynote address to wrap up your organization’s programming delivered virtually by Anese Cavanaugh (CEO and founder of ACI, the IEP Method, and PEW-I, as well as author of Contagious Culture and Contagious You). 

The keynote includes a metrics-based summary of the program results, celebrates the impact points, and provides strategic and inspiring recommendations for how everyone can continue to support the IEP work in your organization.

PEW-i Memberships & Program Components

What are the differences between the PEW-i Memberships?

Our Positive Energy Workplace Initiative™ (PEW-i) Membership tiers allow companies and teams to choose the level they would like to access to for IEP Method® resources and support. 

The levels range from basic membership in the PEW Alliance to our mid-tier IEP Foundations and top-tier All-Access program. You may view full details on the membership page. Here is a quick summary of the main benefits for each tier: 

Base Tier: The Alliance Membership
The Alliance provides easy access to thought leadership and updates from Anese. It does not include extended IEP Method training or support. Works well for companies, teams, and leaders who want to stay connected to the PEW Initiative but need a budget-friendly solution. Includes:

  • Access to Alliance Members private circle on the platform
  • 90-Minute Bi-Monthly PEW-i Alliance Member Leadership Sessions (6 times/year, recorded)
  • Alliance Member Badge
  • Monthly newsletter
  • Communications toolkit/template to announce your membership with employees


Mid Tier: The IEP Foundations Membership
IEP Foundations is a hybrid/middle level of Alliance and All-Access tiers. It includes the most essential components of the IEP training that provide the quickest ROI and core to leadership development. Great value for a self-driven workforce! Includes:

  • Monthly Newsletter
  • Access to the IEP Foundations Training Library (10+ hours of self-study, 10 IEP Method basic tools, 30-day tool challenge)
  • Access to Alliance Members’ private circle on the platform
  • 90-Minute Bi-Monthly PEW-i Alliance Member Leadership Sessions (6 times/year, recorded)
  • Access to Community Network
  • Access to Live & Recorded Q&A Sessions (1 hour monthly)
  • Access to Live Learning Lab Sessions (2 hours quarterly, no recordings)
  • Access to Certification Pathway for Positive Energy Leader: Level 1


Top Tier: The All-Access Membership

For organizations who are ready for holistic support, comprehensive training access, recordings and done-for-you programming. Provides the greatest value of resources, training opportunities, and holistic culture-boosting support. (Requires a minimum of 10 members in your organization to receive all benefits.)

  • Concierge-style service with an ACI Advisor to support platform use
  • Monthly Newsletter
  • Access to the IEP Foundations Training Library (10+ hours of self-study, 10 IEP Method basic tools, 30-day tool challenge)
  • Access to IEP Fundamentals Live Training 
  • Access to Alliance Members’ private circle on the platform
  • 90-Minute Bi-Monthly PEW-i Alliance Member Leadership Sessions (6 times/year, recorded)
  • Communications toolkit/template to announce the program to employees and  with employees 
  • Access to Community Network
  • Access to Live & Recorded Q&A Sessions (1 hour monthly)
  • Access to Live & Recorded Learning Lab Sessions (2 hours quarterly)
  • Access to 70+ IEP Tools, Learning Labs, and Resources available only to our All-Access Membership
  • Access to Certification Pathway for Positive Energy Leader Certification (Levels 1 and 2), IEP-Activator Certification (Levels 1 and 2), and Certified Positive Energy Workplace

What is the PEW-i Diagnostic (PEW-iD) Assessment?

The Positive Energy Workplace Initiative™ (PEW-i) Diagnostic Assessment measures your current team/cultural health, assesses areas for growth, and guides strategic plans for next steps in repairing or optimizing performance. 

The proprietary PEW-i Diagnostic was created by ACI based on 20+ years of strategic consulting, partnerships with organizations of all sizes, and best practices for developing an (authentically) positive workplace that creates results for employees and increases bottom-line impact for the company.

With the diagnostic, you will learn:

  • The health of your culture and how your employees feel at work.
  • How your employees feel about themselves, their team, your organization, and the structures you may or may not have in place to support cultural health.
  • Your organization’s biggest strengths and challenges (including the challenges no one is likely speaking out about).
  • Where you can build more trust with your workforce — and therefore your customers.
  • The areas you’re excelling in that you’ll want to nourish and optimize.   

With the diagnostic results in hand, we’ll be able to address any urgent issues that need care while moving into the vision you have for what’s possible for your workforce. Awareness is 70% of the battle: once we know where we are, we know where we can go!

All enterprise program tracks include the PEW-iD Assessment, or you may explore options for team and leadership-focused tracks here.

What is microlearning and why is it important?

Microlearning is a training and development best practice for adult learning and engagement: they are easily accessible and short learning opportunities that are delivered via video, articles, and/or tutorials. In the PEW-i Community Platform, they are typically focused on integrating the IEP Methodology in day-to-day scenarios, can be consumed in under 10 minutes, and may be accessed on-demand when the learner needs them. ACI’s mobile app provides efficient access to microlearning options on-the-go — great for those who travel often or need beyond-the-desk training solutions!

What is the Learning Lab?

The ACI faculty hosts virtual Learning Labs workshops quarterly in the PEW-i Community Platform. All-Access and IEP Foundations members may attend Learning Labs live (via Zoom) and learn skills and insights on how to apply and practice the IEP Methodology. Learning Labs typically run around 2 hours, and focus on workplace topics, including Giving and Receiving Feedback, Conflict Navigation, and Listening & Presence. Workshops are recorded and stored with supplemental worksheets/fieldwork in the Learning Labs Library, which is available for All-Access Members to view on demand.

What is the Q&A Session (Office Hours)?

Q&A Sessions are monthly open “office hours” hosted by the ACI Team to provide a space for members to bring any questions related to the IEP Methodology, the PEW-i Platform, or any other relevant topics. Members may submit questions 48 hours prior to the session, and may attend live or watch the recording if they are unable to attend. Sessions are archived and available for All-Access and IEP Foundations members to view on demand.

    What is the PEW-i Community Network Orientation Session?

    The ACI Team hosts quarterly orientation sessions in the PEW-i Community to provide an overview of the latest updates and how to get the most out of the platform. These sessions are recorded and available for All-Access and IEP Foundations members to view on demand. Alliance Members may access a short recording to support orientation in the private Alliance circle.

    Who are the ACI Coaches and Trainers?

    Our faculty includes certified coaches, facilitators, and experts in the culture-development space. You may view their profiles on the website here. Coaching support is included with our enterprise-wide programs and All-Access membership, and your company will be matched with an ACI coach based on several factors, including expertise, relevant industry experience, and availability.  

    The Positive Energy Workplace Initiative™ Certification Program

    What is the PEW-i Certification Program?

    Through the PEW-i Certification program, your leaders and organization can demonstrate proficiency and growth by completing the proprietary IEP Method® program requirements and creating a cultural impact in the company. Based on programming and/or membership enrollment, leaders may complete the requirements to earn credentials as a Certified IEP Method® Positive Energy Leader, and organizations may earn credentials as a Certified Positive Energy Workplace.

    Once the certification track requirements are completed, earners will receive a verifiable credential badge to add to a company website, professional social platforms, and recruitment tools. Learn more about the program here.

    Why should we pursue certification through the PEW Initiative?

    At Active Choices, Inc., we believe that culture transformation is based on human transformation. Through the PEW-i Certification program, you can demonstrate that your leaders and company have completed the requirements to create a company culture where everyone shows up and performs at their best (without burnout) and develops more innovation, business performance, and impact. 

    Certification also provides a solid foundation for the following benefits:

    • Become part of a network of leaders and organizations who care about directing the energy of their workforce for good.
    • Become more attractive in talent recruitment.
    • Retain top talent and give them opportunities for growth and advancement.
    • Create a shared language and share processes for collaboration, communication, and workforce relationship development.
    • Continuous demonstration to your workforce, shareholders, and the public that you care about human capital and are actively engaged in growing leaders and positive impact.
    • Contribute to current and future good (and generations) by creating an organization where people don’t have to compromise their energy, lifeforce, well-being, relationships, or mental health for work.

    Are you ready to (authentically and sustainably) transform your organizational culture?