Catalyzing Connections Through Learning Together

Events Blog

Read about past TODN events here.
  • 21 Jun 2018 6:30 PM | Kelly Rubin (Administrator)

    What better way to try out a webcast event format than with the dynamic and engaging professional speaker and “recognition expert,” Sarah McVanel! Approximately 20 participants logged on to hear Sarah’s tips for establishing a thriving independent consulting business. Promoting the idea of professional vision boards, Sarah encouraged listeners to ask themselves what their business would look like if 2019 was their most successful year yet. Her top 5 recommendations were to diversify revenue streams, be an expert in your niche area, focus on service (vs. sales), get help, and recognize yourself daily.

    Related Resources:

  • 15 May 2018 3:33 PM | Jami Monte (Administrator)

    The ice storm threw us all for a loop this year but to our surprise Toronto’s weather agreed to warm up in time for the annual TODN Summer Social.

    The night was filled with some aha moments, warm laughter and energized discussion amongst members. We were lucky to have Helle Bundgaard, author of The Motivated Brain, walk us through some key insights around human behaviour and motivation. She starting off with a well received analogy: our brain is our hardware and our own personal story develops our software, we need to learn to become a superuser of our own brain.

    We learned about energy drainers and tied them in with our own personal expectations and needs. Helle reminded us of the differences between short term and long term motivation, and of course, that we cannot motivate other people if they are not motivated to be motivated!

    And with that, I can say I am now feeling quite motivated find my motivation...

  • 01 May 2018 1:04 PM | Katrina DeAngelis (Administrator)

    What a wonderful event! Renée Bazile-Jones, Senior Director Learning, Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion facilitated a wonderful interactive session on Diversity, Inclusion, and Innovation for us in April. Renee defines diversity as “the mix” and inclusion as “getting the mix to work well together”. Diversity and inclusion practices are a key component of every company culture and sometimes we don’t even realize where our own hidden biases come from or when they are coming out to play. Renée had us working on our own identities and our ‘front seat dimensions’. Renee also talked about cognitive diversity and how the organization and individuals benefit from leveraging the full potential of people’s uniqueness. Thank you, Renée for delivering such a thought-provoking and insightful session that I believe is a must for every organization to engage in!

  • 17 Mar 2018 11:52 AM | Aminata N'Doye (Administrator)

    Our speaker, Lee-Anne McAlear, promised us a hands-on experience in applying Design Thinking methodology – and boy, did she deliver!  Using a very simple example, attendees were paired in groups of two to work through the methodology. Pairs first started off by engaging their partner to understand their emotional drivers and other motivators. These were recapped into a problem statement, which was foundational for brainstorming innovative solutions. Solutions were shared, feedback was gathered and integrated into designing a new solution.  Lots of fun was had using unconventional materials to build prototypes. Once shared, additional feedback was gathered on what worked well and what could be improved.

    What was really fascinating was the creativity each attendee showed in designing solutions and building prototypes (captured in the pictures below – thanks for taking these, Lee-Anne!).

    There were several key takeaways from the session: the end-solution will be dramatically different than what is originally envisioned (which is a good thing!), the need to let go of preconceived notions/solutions and to leverage creativity instead, and not forming an attachment to the prototype/solution because there are multiple iterative stages with design thinking.

    Though the example we played with was simple, the methodology is definitely transferrable to OD. Some participants shared how they integrated design thinking methodology in their OD work, which transformed outcomes.

  • 13 Feb 2018 12:11 PM | Kristen Thomason (Administrator)

    What an overwhelmingly affirmative way to start our first event for 2018 by delving into Positive Psychology. Carrying through our theme of Innovation in OD, Our speaker, Sajel Bellon created Canada’s first Positive Psychology Certificate program for Wilfrid Laurier University, where she currently instructs in the program.

    Sajel’s depth of knowledge, skill as a speaker and her enthusiasm for the topic engaged our members with an interactive session that provided tools and strategies to enhance the well-being of your people, but also assist in identifying and leveraging their strengths to optimize performance outcomes. Sajel provided a truly insightful presentation and really interesting discourse for our members. 

    Our AGM followed next, and we elected three new board members - welcome Katrina DeAngelis as Membership Director, Jami Monte as Treasurer, and Jane Watson as Technology Director. Melissa Hartley and Terri Duguay are staying on as Board Members at large. With this talented and creative team I'm looking forward to an amazing 2018 for TODN!

  • 20 Nov 2017 4:37 PM | Aminata N'Doye (Administrator)

    What better way to end the year than with our last event on the 2017 TODN calendar: Winter Social & Wise Crowd Consulting.

    The social presented a great opportunity to connect with colleagues and hear about the interesting work they are doing in OD. It was also a chance to meet and welcome new faces into our community. The Intentional Networking segment was an awesome way for participants to “crowdsource” help for whatever they needed assistance with, whether it was an issue, challenge or interest.

    For Wise Crowd, leaders from various sectors shared their perspectives, challenges, and opportunities regarding innovation. The leader presented their innovation challenge to a smaller group and received different ideas and perspectives from our community members on solving it. What was particularly fun was hearing different thoughts on the issue and building on each other’s ideas. For the leaders, turning their chair around while the group shared advice provided them with the ability to better hear and reflect on the ideas shared.

    A few quotes from the evening:

    “Loved it, along with being able to riff off of people. We presented different perspectives and had the opportunity to capitalize on them.”

    “Amazed the comments weren’t specific to OD – it showed a real breadth of experience.”

    “People with a lot of experience just let it fly!”

    “It was a privilege to be part of the problem solving and to chat among colleagues – it was a two way dialogue.”

    “[To the leaders] bringing your stories means being vulnerable to outsiders. It really was an act of courage to bear your soul.” Many thanks to our leaders for participating so openly in this consulting process.

  • 13 Sep 2017 10:55 AM | Glennie Mercer

    Dr. Carlos Davidovich MD presented and engaged our community in dialogue as we reviewed information about our 5 brains! and the role each plays as we innovate. 

    Carlos shared shared insights, information and perspectives about how various leadership functions i.e. setting strategy, being empathetic, taking risks, making decisions, use and need different parts of our brains. 

    We discussed the difference between creativity and innovation and were reminded that innovation is a process, and that by working through several steps, we all have the ability to innovate!

    I know I feel ready to be more innovative :), and my guess is that so do the others who attended and engaged with Carlos, and with one another,  in this evening of learning and insight!

  • 26 Apr 2017 2:06 PM | Kristen Thomason (Administrator)

    This session our "intentional networking" piece was excellently facilitated by Sobita Upadhyay who introduced some wonderful call backs to TERA from our last event with Michael Bungay Stanier, and really got us thinking about our professional goals. Sobita then challenged us to think about our goals and wants for TODN and wonderful discussion took place between new members and familiar faces.

    Rob Elkington then kicked off the evening with an exercise designed to illustrate how individuals and teams function in a VUCA environment. Placing attendees into three groups, each group was given a directive to achieve as a team written on a card. The only catch? Once we had read the card we were not able to use verbal communication to achieve this goal. The result? Absolute chaos!

    After some of us had managed to tip chairs over, others to rearrange them in pairs, others trying to make them into a circle around the edges of the room one thing was clear – the room was a disaster. Most of us had lost our original teams, some had formed new teams, some had given up, and others were loving the anarchy!

    It became apparent that we need strong guiding frameworks to prepare us to address times of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity (VUCA). With that Rob launched in to problem solving models and we discovered how Linear Problem solving does not work in a VUCA world. For that we need Vision, Understanding, Clarity and Agility; or the VUCA Prime model. A really fascinating topic that sparked some great dialogue.

    Presentation slides for this event are attached here TODN Leveraging VUCA Prime.pdf and you can read a great case study for Google here.

    Thanks Rob for a truly insightful presentation and really interesting discourse on leveraging VUCA. We can't wait for the the soon to be published (May, 2017, Emerald): “Visionary Leadership in a Turbulent World: Thriving in the New VUCA Context.” 

    We look forward to seeing you on Thursday June 8thfor our “Wine Conference”.

  • 10 Mar 2017 9:22 AM | Glennie Mercer

    Our evening began with the "intentional networking" that is being introduced into our agenda, and was expertly facilitated by Amrita Garg. The energy in the room was high as members shared perspectives on values and then "asks" and "offers" during several small group dialogues. 

    Thanks Amrita!

    Michael Bungay Stanier then gave us a choice of topics to focus on and the group decided a review of how to structure and design an engaging process would be most useful. Michael modeled the behaviours as he facilitated the topic, sharing his design structure and facilitation techniques useful in engaging and empowering audiences. Michael provided us with choices, demonstrated how to create connections, unbundled the design process, and shared many useful tips and strategies. 

    If you missed the event, ask a colleague to tell you about TERA; Structure; Channels; Space; Learning; Self Management. And remember - give people time for self reflection, engage people by having them work in pairs or triads and create an experience - that's what folks remember. 

    Thanks Michael - we appreciate your generosity!  

  • 09 Feb 2017 1:21 PM | Glennie Mercer

    Melissa Hartley presented an insightful and thought provoking session based on the work of Judith E Glaser on "Conversational Intelligence(TM)". Melissa had us recalling "best" and "worst" conversations, and sharing our reactions and insights as to how these are created, and the impact they have on all of us. We were introduced to different "levels of conversation" and a "dashboard" useful in naming different approaches and reactions to the many conversations we and/or our clients are engaged in. There was lots of conversation in the room as Melissa created a safe and open space where different perspectives and ideas related to the topic were expressed.

    Thanks Melissa for an informative and interesting evening! 

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