Catalyzing Connections Through Learning Together

Events Blog

Read about past TODN events here.
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  • 19 Jun 2019 10:00 PM | Jane Watson (Administrator)

    Our last event of this season was a lively and interactive webinar with Dr Maxine Craig and Karen Dumain, who joined us virtually from the UK. Karen and Maxine shared their journey and lessons learned (so far) from the development and implementation of an OD practitioner development framework and program at the National Health Service. Our attendees heard about the early decision to make the program developmentally focused, rather than on assessment, to assist OD practitioners with in the NHS to identify the experience needed to enable their practice at a systems-level. The program has provided insights about why practitioners can struggle to gain the systems-level experience required to increase their mastery within the NHS, and has led to the establishment of an internal mentorships program, among other initiatives intended to build OD capacity within the NHS. A recording of this session will be posted in our Member Resource Portal for members who missed this webinar.

  • 16 May 2019 8:16 AM | Jane Watson (Administrator)

    For our last live session under this year's theme "Elevating Workplace Wellness Through OD" we welcomed Elizabeth Hunt to lead a group exploration of power and wellness. 

    This highly participatory session allowed our TODN members and attendees to dig into their own conceptions of power and wellness, and asked the question "What if a critical aspect of wellness is acknowledging power?"

    Elizabeth shared a power framework with us, but cautioned that it was just a lens to look through, not a definitive set of categories. The framework describes four different ways power manifests in decision-making:

    1. Power Over (directive, unilateral decisions, control of resources; boss/employee)
    1. Power For (advocating, decisions on behalf, managing resources)
    1. Power With (collaborating/cooperating, shared decisions, negotiating resources)
    1. Power Among (infinite, expansive, responsive decision-making, generates resources)

    Power Among is a concept developed by Tuesday Ryan-Hart. Elizabeth shared that it differs from the other quadrants in that it does not rest on a transactional view of power (e.g. it’s not zero sum, where a finite amount of power must be divided between two or more people). Instead, its’ use generates more power, perhaps without limit. The small example Elizabeth shared really resonated for me: she told us about publishing a blog post and hearing from someone who’d read it and been inspired and energized to publish a short story. That empowerment from watching someone else take a risk, however small, is real and doesn’t result in the reduction of a finite pool of power.

    We reflected in small groups on a challenge we were each currently facing, and closed out the session by revisiting that challenge through the lens of these four manifestations of power. It was a useful way to reframe these obstacles, and deepen our insight into how power impacts our perception, and may help us reconceive our options in addressing these challenges.

  • 29 Apr 2019 6:03 PM | Katrina DeAngelis (Administrator)

    Cinnie Noble presented and engaged our community in a discussion around what constitutes a conflict intelligent organization. Cinnie shared insights, information and research about how the culture of an organization can either negatively or positively affect employee morale and ultimately the success of an organization.

    Cinnie walked us through how to build a conflict intelligent organization and gave us a couple of key tools to examine and understand the (not so) Merry go round of conflict and work through our own “hot buttons” as she calls them. I know I feel ready to be more conflict intelligent! :)

  • 22 Mar 2019 6:49 PM | Kriti Singh (Administrator)

    What an invigorating and thought-provoking session by Hannah Elise Jones who is an OD practitioner at Uber.

    She explained the concept of Adult Vertical Development which in psychology is a versatile tool to explain the advancement in a person’s thinking capability leading to the ability to think in more systemic, complex and strategic ways. She outlined the three conditions that help in aiding vertical development which include Heat Experiences (complex situations that disrupt and disorient habitual ways of thinking), Colliding Perspectives (being exposed to people with different worldviews, opinions and backgrounds) and Elevated Sensemaking (integrate and make sense of these perspectives and experiences from more elevated stages of development). She also explained how through her research, she categorized the approaches to leadership development prevalent in organizations and the cultural conditions supporting the process.

    She then explained an interesting parallel with the concept of vertical development as applied to the practice of OD and how it attempts to solve the paradoxical situation of whether the leaders shape the organization or the organization shapes the leaders. A pertinent question that she has sought to answer from her research is: How can we shape the practice of OD which is both individually and organizationally developmental? How can we design approaches which have multilevel impact and which could lead to more sustainable solutions? She shared how this concept of vertical development has been used by her team to create synergies and how other OD practices could utilize this very useful concept to create sustainable experiences.

    Thank you, Hannah, for taking us on a path of research-based Organization Development and challenging us with some thought-provoking ideas!

  • 15 Mar 2019 4:43 PM | Melissa Hartley (Administrator)

    "No one leaves your presence in a neutral state."  Brady Wilson

    On March 14th Brady Wilson shared with us the Power of Human Connection and how there is a science behind how we connect. We can create our own moments of genuine connection by first being aware of what energizes us and how we can leverage our face-to-face conversations to make an impact. Brady shared ideas and insightful experiences where we had the opportunity to try things out.  

    Brady made it real and practical for every person in a way that left us wanting to know more. His vision of supporting organizations to 'pulsate with innovative energy' was moved forward as each person experienced his activities for themselves and gave us a picture of how his framework makes a difference. OD practitioners who want to work with clients on how to change the 'old' way of dealing with Employee Engagement and interpersonal relationships would benefit from learning more!

  • 30 Jan 2019 7:00 PM | Irma Avila (Administrator)

    On January 30th we had a virtual session “Networking for Introverts” hosted by Bobby Umar, a recognized thought leader in networking, social media and personal branding. It was an inspiring and insightful presentation, full of practical tips that resonated not only with introverts, ambiverts, but with extroverts, too.

    For many people, namely introverts, networking seems like a daunting task that seems necessary rather than fun or purposeful. Once demystified – once you dissect all the steps and integrate the practical advice on having the right mindset, what questions to ask and how to successfully follow-up – Bobby helped us realize that networking does not have to be difficult or 'painful'. He asked us a key question that reframed our idea of success in networking and asked "Did you know that the biggest barriers to your success is the lack of a plan, poor tactics/strategy and having a fixed mindset? Henry Ford's quote “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you are right”, encapsulates Bobby's message that it is all about mindset.

    Bobby encouraged all of us to "Go beyond networking... First, learn how to network, then build a solid reputation to expand your network strategically.  He prompted us to consider how we can build a solid reputation by becoming Thought Leaders and "create content, own the conversation and master public speaking – as you build your Thought Leadership, opportunities will come.”
  • 01 Dec 2018 12:22 PM | Aminata N'Doye (Administrator)

    Linda delivered a fantastic and dynamic webinar on how we can apply a positive lens to change management. Using the change management cycle, she identified five sources of negative bias: selling services, framing the reasons for change, assessing change, reporting and motivation. For each one, she provided tangible tips on how we can reframe change in a more positive light. We also covered some models we could leverage in our change management work such as design thinking and appreciative inquiry.

    One of the most interesting elements of the webinar was having participants share how they applied positivity in their change work. There is a lot of great work being done in the community and it was a wonderful opportunity to hear more about it and learn from each other. This is a testament to Linda’s facilitation style, which was to have a participative and engaging session vs. information download.

    Lots of awesome takeaways from the session! Click here to view a recording of the webinar.
  • 16 Nov 2018 2:40 PM | Jami Monte (Administrator)

    This year’s winter conference was met with our first bout of winter weather and we were happy to see that many members made it out!  Dina Barazza, Certified Mentor Practitioner & Leadership Expert, facilitated a session on The Wellness Mentor Conundrum.  There was a mix of of speaking, group work and individual work (including some sketching!) keeping everyone engaged and excited.  

    Dina’s passion for mentorship really shone through.  She touched on common desires that we have as humans - learning, inspiring others and being inspired ourselves (in both personal lives and work lives) – and how they are often fulfilled via the mentorship process.  Mentorship is not only beneficial to the mentee and the mentor, but it can be beneficial within the organization as an attraction and retention tool.

    When asked to discuss what mentorship and coaching look like to the group members, specifically the differences between the two relationships, many guests had conflicting ideas and Dina helped to clarify key differences.  We learned that mentorship is a short-term commitment; one can have multiple mentors for different areas of their life.  Both mentors and coaches are used for self development, but the interactions play out differently – a coach “pushes” the person being coached whereas a mentor “pulls” the mentee.  Some were surprised to realize that a manager-employee relationship is not a mentoring relationship, a manager is in fact a performance coach!

    On the wellness side of things, some group brainstorming happened around wellness practices.  Dina shared with us one of her tips of drilling down our to-do lists to 3 items a day, this idea was a hit with many members!  Resilience was also a hot topic, we were encouraged to use the “3 C’s” for our own resilience building: Challenge, Commitment and Control.

    Click here for the slides from the session.

  • 20 Oct 2018 9:38 AM | Jane Watson (Administrator)

    Chances are you've had a damaging, possibly even traumatic, work experience at some point in your career. Attendees at this session brought their own experience as individuals in the workforce, and as OD practitioners, into the discussion on the impact of unwell workplaces.

    Christine's used her background as a front line community mental health clinician, HR & OD leader, and leadership and team coach to open up a nuanced conversation about "Post Traumatic Job Disorder". She defined this as "a severe reaction to a change in the workplace that causes you to feel like you have lost your sense of self. Everyday, pieces of you are being chipped away."

    She was quick to point out that this isn't a disorder; rather it's an experience that sits on the continuum between stress and a more serious mental health diagnosis, like adjustment disorder. The label PTJD is intended to allow for discussions about the serious and ongoing impact created by working in an environment where an employee feels targeted, isolated, and systematically shut down.

    The group discussed their own experiences of damaging work environments, where we noted recurring themes related to feeling powerless, un-valued, isolated, directionless, and incompetent which led to the erosion of confidence, stress, and depressed thinking.

    Christine and out attendees also shared coping strategies for individuals who find themselves in this type of work situation, and how to recover and thrive afterwards.

  • 29 Sep 2018 10:01 AM | Jane Watson (Administrator)

    This event lived up to its title, providing ample opportunity for participants to interact and contribute our own perspectives and insights. Jennifer started the evening with an entertaining and resonant overview of how often we can get stuck when the unexpected inevitably happens at work or in life. When we accept the 'script' that we're handed (by our organization, boss, clients, families, or society) we cut ourselves off to the opportunities around us - opportunities for creative solutions, deepened relationships, and new insights.

    Jennifer explained some of the central principles of improv as a framework for examining workplace and team dynamics, and our ow responses to them. Then we put these into practice in small groups, with fun exercises that even an introvert like me found enjoyable. Lots of laughter ensued, and Jennifer made space for participants to share their observations and insights about how our group interactions related to common team and org dynamics. This is why I love the TODN - I learn so much from our great speakers AND our members!

    You can download summaries of Jennifer's content using these links:

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