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Behind the Scenes: Planning the 2016 OD Network Annual Conference


The OD Network | IODA annual conference in Portland last year was a long-overdue re-connection to the OD Network and community for me. My experiences at the conference, as was true for the overwhelming majority of attendees, were powerful and enriching. Those positive experiences guaranteed that another multi-year hiatus would never again occur. So touched was I by the entire experience that saying “Yes!!” to the offer to join the 2016 OD Network Conference Planning Committee was, with spontaneous gratitude, easy - a process that began before the glow of Portland even began to fade. 

Here was my chance to give back and be of some service. My specific task force was called the “Tacticians.” Along with three colleagues and a host of OD folks across the globe, our job was to immerse ourselves in the several-hundred session proposals received and select the precious few that we will all enjoy this October in Atlanta. I had no idea how much my trying to ‘give back’ was going to bring me.

I apologize in advance for the woefully inadequate snapshot which follows. As they say, “You had to be there!”…and maybe some of you will be inspired to do so in the future.

What you won’t  see when, for example, you settle into your seat at a 90-minute concurrent session in Atlanta, is the array of hard-working,highly skilled volunteers-numbering multi-dozens-and a few staff who have invested significant  time and energy in handling the truly incredible number of details-from our conference theme, tracks and logos to the calls for proposals and awards; from to selecting music and choreographing networking opportunities; from identifying meaningful vendors and sponsors who support the event to ensuring  there is enough coffee to keep us going and signs to ensure we get there.  I could go on but you surly get the idea that the investment by these people  totals 10 times the length of that concurrent session. [Add the plenary sessions, and you too would shake you head in disbelief!] Teams comprised of folks, whose EQ’s match their extraordinary IQs. People whose soul and integrity demand that they not only do their best at OD Network-related work, but that they do so in a way that strives to live/walk the values and ideals we profess to share with our clients: authenticity, commitment, skill… and an ability to laugh. A ‘pandemic’ our world desperately needs!

Some, but sadly not all, of these ‘behind the scenes’ folks will be ‘at the scene’ come October 7-10, 2016. Join me in Atlanta because the best way we can thank them is in person.


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