Member Spotlight: Lori Blander
Lori Blander is the President and Principal Consultant of The Blander Group, an Organizational Development firm based in Baltimore, Maryland, and a current member of the OD Network Board of Trustees. She has spent most of her almost 20-year career consulting internally, and made the switch to the external world in October 2015. Lori works everyday to increase the capabilities of organizations and people through the many lessons she has learned through her experiences, schooling, and the many wonderful practitioners and influential people she has met along the way.
Lori was first introduced to the field of OD when she got her first consulting position working with a small firm. While the consulting model was “pre-canned”, she found that she was drawn to the “people-side” of the work that wasn’t in the materials used. A friend and colleague at the firm was completing her Masters in OD at Johns Hopkins University, and Lori simply asked, “What is OD?” Little did she know how life changing that question would be. Upon looking at the curriculum and what the field included, she knew that was for her. She enrolled in the very next semester, got her first true OD role, and earned her M.S. in Organizational Development and Strategic Human Resources from Johns Hopkins University. She truly understands the need for our field and serves as an advocate to those who don’t realize the power that OD has to make organizations so much stronger.
Lori has been a member of the OD Network for almost 5 years. Her decision to join was due to the influence of Matt Minahan, who was a favorite grad school professor of hers. She remembers sitting in Matt’s class as he talked about the OD pioneers who wrote most of our textbooks and theories, many of which he knew personally. He attributed much of that to the Network, and Lori made the decision to join. She attended the 2012 conference in Phoenix which was her first OD Network event, and immediately joined the Program Committee for the 2013 conference in San Jose. After serving on the next 2 Conference Program Committees, Lori was honored to be asked to Co-Chair the 2015 2nd OD World Summit in Portland and work in partnership with IODA.
“Working on the conference was by far the highlight of not just my OD Network experience, but of my career. To be a part of something that brought people together from over 30 countries from all 7 continents…that’s just so much bigger than your work, your practice, or you. That conference was a magical, spiritual experience, and playing a part in that is something that I will always cherish.”
In her spare time, Lori enjoys traveling as often as she can. When asked why she does what she does, she responded with, “To change the world one organization at a time, and to support my travel habit.” Lori is also a bit of a sports fanatic and you can usually find her at any Baltimore Ravens football game and New Jersey Devils hockey games.