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Keeping things fresh in Omaha

Posted By Administration, Friday, October 19, 2012

Keeping Things Fresh in Omaha

Last month the Omaha OD Network explored change in a new way at their conference titled, Re-Modeling: A Fresh Look at Change Management. Over 80 participants gathered for a full day in an opportunity featuring both local and international speakers, focused on Omaha ODN’s goal: Explore, Learn, Share, Inspire.

We began the day exploring the martial art, Aikido, and how it relates to change management. Change can feel like a struggle. Aikido practice helps people resolve their struggles with others or with situations by embracing the practices of acknowledging, accepting, and redirecting what threatens us. Local Sensei, Lloyd McWhirt, brought real-world corporate and military experience to his teaching about following Aikido wisdom in everyday life.

Dr. Margaret Wheatley took the practice of acknowledge, accept, re-direct, to a new level by helping us continue our exploration focusing us on a topic very relevant to those of us who serve as change agents: How do we take care of ourselves in times of constant change? In answering this question, Meg urged each of us to have a regular practice, a way to connect to the larger picture. She stressed that it would be individual to each of us. Some of us might find silence in a regular exercise routine, in art or music, and for some of us, it might be just sitting still.

Meg’s conceptual journey led us right into focusing on how we might make that happen as we learned about the Systems Oriented Leadership model from Marita Fridjhon. Marita helped us learn about the third entity, where the power of the pair is greater than the sum of the individuals. This fresh look at change management focused on the power of the relationships at play during change, and how that impacts outcomes.

Our greatest chance to share with one another took place during the Open Space session led by local OD expert, Carol Horner. Carol led us into small groups formed around similar interests in thoughts born from the conference. We took the opportunity to share our ideas and collaborate around practical solutions.

We closed the conference with inspirational closing remarks from both Meg Wheatley and Marita Fridjhon. Together they reinforced key messages in an open question and answer exchange that kept us focused on the possibilities.

Support comes in the form of community, and we continue to take time to reach out to others in Omaha ODN and our local business communities. We share our stories, gather ideas, and prop each other up when times get tough. We’re setting our intentions on strengthening our community, and putting new ideas into practice every day.

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