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Member Spotlight: Yasmeen Burns & Matteo Becchi

Meet Our 2017 Annual Conference Chair and Co-Chair!

Yasmeen Burns, Senior Principal, The Clearing

Yasmeen BurnsYasmeen Burns has been in OD since she was born. Her parents recognized her natural “super-hero” powers, including an ability to read people’s faces, have empathy, and put herself in other people’s shoes.

Yasmeen says she has “always been people centered in all I do.” And these abilities have served her well since 2002 when she took on her first OD role at Kirkland and Ellis in New York. She learned so much in this early role as she helped her organization move from a non-competitive stance to a competitive one in terms of talent. Here she learned on the job, helping the firm move from being risk-averse to embracing risk and innovation and supporting business process re-engineering. She continued OD work at several law firms and was then inspired to her earn her MBA in Organization Development from Johns Hopkins University, Carey Business School.

An active member of the OD Network since 2011, Yasmeen first joined because it was a place to connect with others that are facing similar experience, “where I can be a life-long learner. There is no other place where I am able to truly have amazing conversations and push the boundaries of my own mental model and truly learn from others.” What she found was the OD Network was a place that enabled her to find her voice. “I didn’t realize I didn’t have this before – I was such a part of the corporate machine – I would forget to bring myself and my voice into my work. My OD Network colleagues have helped me find my voice and step into roles I would not be able to if not encouraged and supported by this community.”

This development evolved during Yasmeen’s three years as an OD Network Board of Trustees member (2013 – 2015) and with her experience working on the annual conference. She was on the conference planning team in 2012, and co-chaired the 2013 and 2014 conferences, and we are thrilled to have her back as this year’s conference chair. She is inspired by bringing together OD professionals to have conversations about ways we can impact our world. “I am most excited about the nuggets and the stories about how us ODers are impacting the world today especially given where our country and our world is right now. I want us to shift to the why of our work, take what we learn and amplify our impact at a national level where they need us most.”

“My hopes and dreams are that this conference is wildly successful and a year from now, all of us will be at the national dialogue on bridging the gap in this divided country.” Her tips for the conference? Don’t miss the fabulous plenary speakers and take part in the new collaborative action session with Allstate. Get inspired and energized to join with your OD Network colleagues and bring our OD skills to have a positive impact in our world. We are needed today more than ever!

Matteo Becchi, Associate Director, OIT PMO, American University

Matteo BecchiMatteo Becchi completed his MSOD at American University in 2014. “As soon as I started the program in 2012, I realized that I had been doing my work (15 years of IT Project Management) with an OD lens my entire life.” He realized that he was consistently maintaining a people focus on his project teams, people dynamics, engagement, interpersonal interactions and behaviors. He was keenly aware of “how we work, not just completing the work itself.” As Matteo says now, “I am reminded daily that OD is everywhere.”

A member of the OD Network since 2014, Matteo recognizes the OD Network as the de facto network for us (OD Practitioners) here in the US and globally. He also attends the local Community of Practice events in the DC area. “They are great, bite-size, professional development opportunities, which also keep me connected to the local practitioner community.”

Matteo is the co-chair of our annual conference this year. He served as the lead for the OD Network Member Experience for the 2016 conference (aka the Frivolity Chair). He found his volunteer experience to be a great opportunity to connect and collaborate with some great OD colleagues. “The co-chair opportunity this year was a total surprise. I just couldn’t say no to this chance to help shape this amazing 3 – 4 day event in Chicago, with hundreds of our closest colleagues from around the world.”  He sees the conference as an amazing opportunity to network, and a chance to help further our trade, our craft, in the interest of making our world a better place, both on the micro and macro levels.

What not to miss at the conference? Be sure to take in the plenary speakers, who bring relevant and timely messages about the ways OD innovates for impact. He advises that “the Collaborative Action Session with Allstate’s Organization Effectiveness group is a first for us, so that will be something not to miss (a live, in person, intervention with a client system).” Also, take in the Member Experience Area that provides attendees hands-on opportunities to try out the various OD Network offerings including the new OD Practice Framework self-assessment, Talent Connect opportunities, update their member profile to take advantage of a new "Find an OD practitioner" search feature.

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