The Organization Development Network Regionals Committee is focused on understanding and responding to the needs
of affiliated regionals. The OD Network has a mission to advance the
practice and theory of OD. To do so, the
Network continues to play the role of Network of networks, bringing together
groups of OD practitioners, academicians, students, organizations, and
consumers of OD. The regional groups
affiliated with the Network are important communities we want to continue to
convene and serve.
Over the past few months, committee members reached out
to regional leaders on ODN’s distribution list (link to web site). Our outreach efforts connected with 15
networks, more than 25% of our known regional population. Thank you to those who answered our calls
and spent the time to tell us about your regional.
Committee members and regional leaders prioritized 5 potential new offerings by OD Network:
- Regional leaders meetings
- Regional leader toolkits to support setting up
and running a regional
- Program repository to share programming ideas,
- Regional web site support
- Regional highlight in each monthly OD Network
Below are the plans forward for each of the 5
Plans Forward for Key Offerings
- Regular regional leader gatherings. Almost all regional leaders interviewed
responded that they would find great value in regular gatherings with other
regional leaders to support one another in their regional leader roles, share
practices, answer questions, as well as solicit ideas and feedback. Virtual meetings would be more accessible and
cost-effective than face-to-face meetings due to the large geographical spread
of regional network locations. These virtual
meetings could be organized by geography.
Committee Next Steps: Convene a
virtual regional leader gathering this summer to ignite regional connections. Build an exciting agenda for a face-to-face
regional leader gathering in San Jose, CA at the OD Network annual
- Regional toolkits. Regionals across the board share common
activities in running their regional organizations: tracking financials, recruiting members,
setting up leadership teams/committees, registering as non-profit organizations
in their states, setting up web sites, etc. Leaders identified that it would be beneficial to share common practices
across regionals, particularly so that new leadership teams have something to
start with as they build their organization infrastructure. Although we heard from a few regionals that
have very long-term board members, most regional boards, just like many
volunteer boards, have high turnover. Information, decisions, practices are often not completely transitioned
from one leadership team to another or from the predecessor to the successor
officer. A set of best practices as well as a community
forum will support incoming leaders.
Committee Plans Forward: Design
and pilot space on OD Network web site for regional leaders to dialogue and
share best practices
- Monthly programming. Many leaders shared that coming up with new, innovative ideas for monthly programming can be difficult. Some regionals have databases of past programming that members can access, but most regionals do not. An opportunity exists for ODN to facilitate regionals sharing monthly programming topics, materials, and speakers.
Committee Plans Forward: Design
and pilot space on OD Network web site for a program repository.
- Regional web site support. Although there was some interest in partnering with ODN for Web site support, most regionals expressed interest in sharing technical guidance, tools, and resources across regionals.
Committee Plans Forward: OD Network
is building the forum for regional leaders to collaborate. Regional leaders can share technical
guidance, tools, and resources within the space to be designed for sharing
- Regional highlight in OD Network News. Most regional leaders interviewed reported that they did not see a benefit in having their regional news highlighted in OD Network News. An opportunity exists for ODN to continue to foster relationships with regional leadership and to highlight mutual benefits of sharing regional news in the ODN e-newsletter.
Committee Plans Forward: Continue
to solicit news from regional organization and use this part of OD Network News
to highlight new ODN offerings to regionals.
In addition to the 5 potential offerings above, those
interviewed cited benefits they think could be achieved through stronger ties
between ODN and regionals. This includes
the formation of chapters. Historically,
regionals have been considered independent entities with only loose affiliation
to ODN. Regionals and ODN have not
formed a structure that is mutually beneficial for chapters to exist. However, input from this year’s outreach
shows that there is increased interest in this possibility. We heard regional leaders express the
following benefits in exploring a chapter structure:
- A chapter structure would strengthen the brand
of the OD profession, where ODN could represent the professional center.
- Regionals would find value in being able to market themselves as an official chapter of the national organization.
- More connection could be built by having
official regional representation on the ODN Board.
- A Regional Chapter Manager role within ODN could
provide more formal support to the regionals, understand their needs, and
connect them with each other.
- Regular communications with regional leaders
about ODN activities, events, conferences would support greater connection. Communication could also include membership
recruiting information, such as individuals who are members of ODN but not
members of a regional.
- Regionals could belong to ODN as chapters and
receive benefits as a regional organization.
Given historical preferences about preserving a loose
affiliation between regionals and OD Network, the Network has no immediate
plans to create chapters. Instead, the
Network has the goal of creating offerings that meet a missing need and attract
regionals. This will strengthen the
relationships between regionals and the Network. As those relationships are strengthened, interested
regionals and OD Network can revisit the need for a more formal structural
alignment such as chapters.
Please send your input to firstname.lastname@example.org and be on the
lookout for information about our upcoming Virtual Regional Leaders Gathering in