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Why Conference?

“Output without input equals kaput!”

It has been 20 years since I heard conference speaker Dale Schlafer repeat that little aphorism. I still smile when the truth of that bit of wisdom smacks me upside the head. It captures for me the continual struggle of the professional life, which goes a bit like this:

Day after day, I draw so deeply and so often from the same well of knowledge and experience acquired through my training and my professional practice that after a while I find myself getting stale. I get tired of hearing myself say and do the same things over and over again. I desperately crave new ideas, fresh methods and cutting-edge techniques that would replenish the well of my expertise. I need the input of new thought.

This is why I love attending stimulating conferences where I can hear the latest concepts and learn to assimilate new practices into my work as an OD professional before I go kaput and burn out strikes.

The Annual Conference of the OD Network is one such respite for replenishing my OD well. Last year in Portland I met colleagues from around the world who shared many ideas that have found their way into my daily practice. The 2016 Conference is shaping up to be another such banner experience focusing our attention on “The Business of OD: Positioning Ourselves for Continuous Impact.”

I have no doubt that by October I will again be nearing kaput, given the high level of output required of an external consultant like myself. I hope that you will join me as together we experience the refreshing joy of professional input.


Dr. Steven Goodwin, President, TurningWest, Inc.

OD Network Executive Conference Planning Committee

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