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  • Past Events | ODN Chicago | Page 13
    • January 9, 2021
      8:40 am - 12:00 pm

    Peter Sorenson and Therese Yeager will work with all of us in January!

    Join members of CODIC to start off the new year!
    • Saturday, January 09, 2021
    • 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    • ZOOM link will be shared with Registrants.
    Registration at the ODN/C website or click register now button below:


    Join us at 8:40 for Networking! Please register using the link above to receive the Zoom link and password. This session will be recorded. By registering, you are giving your consent to be recorded. 

    LinkedIn: Peter Sorensen

    LinkedIn: Therese Yaeger

    Website: Benedictine University

    8:40-9:00 am Logging On & Networking

    9:00-12:00 pm Program

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    • January 14, 2021
      6:00 pm - 8:15 pm

    How to Use People Data to Deliver Realness, Meaning and Belonging at Work…

    Join Colleen McFarland in a discussion about the youngest members of our workforce. Explore with her the dramatic differences between them and millennials and what this means to leaders. Consider how an employee could be motivated to make behavior changes by using people data. Understand how the companies that will win the digital revolution will be the ones that ensure their people managers are data-savvy and their workplace digital experiences are personal.

    Learning Objectives:

    • Appreciate the need for both connecting with young adults in the workplace where they are (online) and role modeling for them the power of engaging In Real Life (IRL)
    • Understand how people data can be leveraged to personalize employee experiences and build loyalty
    • Leave with ideas for how the manager role needs to evolve

    Social Media: linkedin.com/in/colleenmcfarland1

    Website: colleenmcfarland.us

    There is pre-work for this workshop. This pre-work is included in the MailChimp emails we are sending out for this and future events.

    About Our Facilitator:  Colleen McFarland

    Colleen McFarland has made a career of working with leaders to prepare and manage the impact that a business change will have on their customers and employees. As an expert in change management, she knows that cold hard facts combined with compassion is what is needed to motivate individuals to do the hard work that change requires. And it takes empathetic leaders to drive the change.

    Educated first at Marquette University as an engineer, later at Loyola University of Chicago in business, Colleen has spent her career building relationships. Being open to others, getting to know them, working to understand their point of view and learning from them is what she does. Disconnected – How to Use People Data to Deliver Realness, Meaning, and Belonging at Work is her first book.

    For more information about this or any ODN/C program, contact Maggie Shreve at admin@odnchicago.org or 312.730..0041 (text or call).

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    • February 11, 2021
      6:00 pm - 8:15 pm

    Modern Influencing:  The Power of Leading with Empathy …

    In human development, we have the opportunity to change the workplace as we know it.  Current events have forced us to adapt to a more human and more digital workplace.  We need business and organizational leaders, and those we serve, to listen and learn from us.  This program will tap into science to unleash your influencing skills.

    If we’ve learned anything during the COVID19 pandemic, it’s the importance of empathy — especially when it comes to how we influence others — and treating employees like human beings.

    No doubt, COVID19 has changed our perspectives on the modern workplace, calling for people in general to provide greater clarity, give more autonomy, and build stronger relationships that ultimately lead to more equity in the workplace.

    So, what can you do to ensure employees are thriving during and after these changes?  We invite you to attend our February program featuring Alex Draper, CEO and founder of DX Learning, a Chicago-based cultural advancement firm dedicated to creating more human workplaces.

    During this lively and experiential session, you’ll discover what biases blind us from leading with empathy, how to accelerate your understanding of other people’s human needs, and a simple and pragmatic tool called C.A.R.E.  that you can apply in every facet of your life.  Maximize your ability to influence others and take what you learn back to your own organization or clients.  If you embrace the notion of “treat others as they wish to be treated,” so much more can be achieved!

    About Our Presenter:  Alex Draper

    Alex Draper started life as a schoolteacher in the UK.  In 2002 he moved into adult education joining a global management development organization. In 2005 he moved to Chicago to build and lead their Americas operation. There he spent 10 years leading and growing the business while consulting with many of the Fortune 500.

    In 2015 Alex founded DX Learning. DX is a partner in progressive leadership and cultural development that taps into the powerful combination of behavioral psychology and experiential learning, to expose and eliminate bad leadership and prepare leaders to put people first. The workforce is changing before our eyes, and our organizations and leaders within, need to change with it or be left out.

    He is now a leading force in disrupting the leadership development industry with science-based methodologies that drive leadership self-awareness and psychological safety that solve organizational challenges.

    Alex has helped develop and unlock the leadership potential in over 18,000 people with DX’s leadership programs all over the world. Alex practices what he teaches with an ever-growing global team, as well as at home with two children under 3, and people he mentors and coaches.


    For more information about this event or ODN/C, contact our Administrator, Maggie Shreve, at admin@odnchicago.org or 312.730.0041 (call/text).

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    • March 11, 2021
      6:00 pm - 8:15 pm


    Emotional Intelligence and Technology: Leading High Impact Interactions…

    Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the ability to recognize, interpret, and manage emotions. Those who are strong in this skill are more likely to build trust with others, drive consensus, reduce stress, and build high impact relationships across both personal and professional domains of life. Participants of this session will learn how to navigate our evolving landscape of communicating with technology, strengthen EI competencies, adapt and manage their responses to particular situations, and heighten these skills in others.

    This session is useful for any participant who wants to increase the quality of interactions that occur both virtually and in person.

    Learning Objectives:

    • Attendees will be able to describe what emotional intelligence is and be able to summarize why it’s becoming increasingly important in the workplace.
    • Attendees will recognize implications of utilizing technology to communicate and obtain examples of emotional intelligence in the workplace.
    • Attendees will identify core techniques to improve personal and relational competencies.

    About our Presenter:  Christine Lawther

    Dr. Christine Lawther is an Industrial Psychologist specializing in organizational leadership. She is experienced in the design and instruction of collegiate courses highlighting an array of advanced leadership models including servant, transformational, and authentic leadership. She currently is an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago and the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. In addition to higher education, Dr. Lawther is an active practitioner with a robust history of guiding organizations in the support of both employees and clients across many diverse industries. She has architected organizational performance management systems, created innovative and unique training events on topics such as emotional intelligence and negotiation, and provided dynamic 1:1 coaching to people eager to expand their impact and effect.
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    • April 8, 2021
      6:00 pm - 8:15 pm

    It’s Time to Talk:  Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the OD Profession….


    Like leaders of many organizations, we are taking steps to assess the impact of our culture on diverse members of our community and the resulting experience of equity and/or inclusion. We experienced the angst of the last year watching the news reports, like having a mirror held up to us demanding answers. Our aspirations began well before that, however, as prior board members, as quiet single voices, would ask, “so what are we doing about this?”
    As your 2021 Board of Directors, we are committed to making progress on the issues of Diversity Equity and Inclusion this year.
    We need to define what those terms mean, define our aspirations and make measurable progress.   This is where we need your help.
    We are sponsoring a free, working event on April 8th, with the intention of gathering many voices in the “room” (ok, Zoom room), considering many points of view on the DEI topics, and selecting priorities for this year.  The event will be facilitated as an “Open Space,” meaning that it is designed to generate many points of view, to capture and consider possibilities and then generate commitments to act.  We are writing to you with an invitation to participate.

    Your participation will be on Zoom, with a great number of people  who are our current, recent and future OD Network of Chicago  members and the broader OD community.  Participants will generate a list of considerations and self-select into break out groups.  In these groups, participants consider different aspects of our DEI topic that they are interested in and energized about.  We encourage your participation in these unscripted discussions.  The themes that rise to the top will be voted on and several next action steps will be committed to by this 2021 Board and hopefully the next Board as well (elected in June, 2020).


    Hope to see you there!


    Deborah Dalzell-Murphy, President, on behalf of the ODN/C Board of Directors

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    • May 13, 2021
      6:00 pm - 8:15 pm

    Meaningful Partnership at Work:

    Ensuring Mutual Accountability and Success Between Leaders and Teams…

    “All of us work with others.  Sometimes those professional relationships are important enough that we call them a ‘partnership’.  But what does partnership in the workplace really mean?  What makes some of our partnerships exceptional while many are mediocre, frustrating or even a disaster? And why do these work partnerships matter so profoundly to our well-being and success, regardless of our level or role?” (p. 12, Introduction, Meaningful Partnership at Work)

    This two-hour on-line session will explore three ideas from our co-authored forthcoming book, Meaningful Partnership at Work: How The Workplace Covenant Ensures Mutual Accountability and Success Between Leaders and Teams (Productivity Press/Taylor & Francis).  The first idea is the mindset of ‘meaningful’ partnership and how it differs from routine work associations.  The second is the conceptual model that underlies this idea, ‘ERTAP’, which stands for empathy, respect, trust, alignment and partnership.  The third idea is what we call ‘The Workplace Covenant’, which is a practical yet transformative relationship-building process between any two parties at work, that ensures ERTAP through on-going mutual support and accountability.

    Participants will find this session highly useful because it will delve into a number of factors that we often take for granted in the workplace (e.g. how people work together, the expectations we all have of colleagues, the importance of a manager to team success, how to repair broken work relationships, etc.), and explore how to make these more transparent and hence effective.

    Learning Objectives:

    • Understand the three core ideas from the book and how they relate to the health and effectiveness of our new workplace.
    • Learn the model, ERTAP, the research related to it, how to measure the elements, and how it can be used to help managers and teams.
    • Know how to apply a new OD tool, The Workplace Covenant, to ensure ongoing ERTAP

    About Our Presenters:  Drs. Seth Silver and Timothy Franz


    Dr. Silver is the principal of Silver Consulting, Inc., an independent consulting practice, where he has worked for over 20 years with numerous clients in health care, higher education, high tech, government, business services, manufacturing and non-profit.  His consulting focuses on two key areas: developing and improving leadership; and creating high engagement, high performance workplaces.  He provides such services as executive coaching, leadership training, team development, conflict resolution, building effective workplace partnerships, strategic planning, and organizational/team diagnosis.

    Dr. Silver has developed a unique business process called The Workplace Covenant, which helps parties in any organization to exchange and agree upon reciprocal obligations and expectations so as to ensure trust, feedback and alignment in their relationship. He has recently co-authored a book, entitled Meaningful Partnership at Work: How The Workplace Covenant Ensures Mutual Accountability and Success Between Leaders and Teams, to bring the concept to a wider audience.

    From 2000 to 2014, Dr. Silver was a part-time Assistant Professor and taught Masters level students in Human Resource Development, teaching first at St. John Fisher College, and then at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

    Dr. Silver holds a Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto, a Masters degree from Cornell University, and a Doctorate (Ed.D.) from The George Washington University.  He has served on the Board of Directors for several non-profit organizations in the Rochester area, and is a citizen of both the US and Canada.

    Dr. Franz is an Industrial and Organizational Psychologist at St. John Fisher College. He is a Professor of Psychology as well as Chair of the Psychology Department and past Program Director and Chair of the graduate Human Resource Development Department.  In addition to his academic work, he also works as an organizational consultant through his independent consulting organization, Franz Consulting.

    His topical areas of expertise include team leadership, individual and team decision making, improving team performance, and using teams to drive organizational change.  Many of his ideas about improving teams are published in his books, titled Making Team Projects Work: A Resource for High School and College Educators and Group Dynamics and Team Interventions: Understanding and Improving Team Performance. His forthcoming book, co-authored with Seth Silver, is titled Meaningful Partnership at Work: How The Workplace Covenant Ensures Mutual Accountability and Success Between Leaders and Teams He is also an experienced applied researcher, specializing in conducting focus groups and interviews, designing custom surveys, analyzing data, and evaluating the effectiveness of training programs.

    Prior to his work as a college professor, Dr. Franz was a survey consultant for the Wyatt Company (now Towers-Watson) and Buck Consultants.  In these roles, he designed and conducted custom compensation surveys and salary administration projects for clients in the Northeast and Midwest.  In addition, he has designed selection tests, employee development instruments, and custom organizational surveys as a contract consultant for Custom Solutions, A London House Consulting Group.

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    • June 10, 2021
      6:00 pm - 8:15 pm

    5 Universal Truths…

    Jason Little has spent the greater part of the last seven  years traveling the world and asking change agents of all disciplines in countless organizations why the changes they were working on weren’t working.  Why were they  getting stuck and how they might jiggle them loose? 
    We live in a world where we’re in a rush to create yet another best practice method in order to magically fix our transformations. It turns out we’ve known the answer all along, and it sure isn’t about the process, method or framework we follow.
    In this program, Jason will share the patterns, philosophies and stories he has collected that will help us see change and transformation through a different set of lenses so we can focus on what matters

    About Our Presenter:  Jason Little

    Jason began his career as a web developer when Cold Fusion roamed the earth. Over the following years, he moved into management, Agile Coaching and consulting. The bumps and bruises collected along the way brought him to the realization that helping organizations adopt Agile practices was less about the practices, and all about change.

    In 2008 he attended an experiential learning conference about how people experience change and since then, he’s been writing, and speaking, all over the world about helping organizations discover more effective practices for managing organizational change. He is the author of Lean Change Management and an international speaker who has spoken all over the world from Canada, the US, Finland, Germany, Australia, Belgium and more.


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    • July 6, 2021 - October 27, 2021
      6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


    DEI Project (Tuesdays in July)

    How do we learn to practice Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in our professional and personal lives?

    An earlier ODN/Chicago program prompted us to examine how well we, as OD practitioners or students, are inclusive and equitable in our work.  This led to a July project which meets via Zoom on Tuesday evenings.


    The group meets on multiple evenings from 6 to 8-ish (Schedule is evolving) .  The cost is $30 per person, regardless of your membership status in ODN/C.  The process is as follows:

    1.  You’ll receive a Zoom link for the meetings on July 6, 13, 20, an d 27.
    2.  Pay your fee through our website registration process, knowing this is not a one-time event but four separate meetings occuring weekly for a month.
    3.  Take (or review) the Intercultural Assessment for self-reflection and follow-up.
    4.  After the group starts meeting, it will select a book for continued discussion.  You will be asked to read the book along with the rest of the group.
    5.  Discussion will include learnings from the self-assessment and establishing personal goals.
    6.  Book discussions should lead to putting our learnings into practice.
    7.  This is a pilot project.  As such, we are developing as we go along.  Thanks for your patience with and contribution to this process.

    For more information, contact Dr. Deborah Dalzell Murphy, drdeb@murphymanagementpartners.com


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    • July 8, 2021
      6:00 pm - 8:15 pm

    Open Mic OD Talent Night!

    Join us on Thursday, July 8th for our annual membership meeting and a special program featuring our homegrown OD talent!
    This is a call for all members – come share an 8-minute presentation on your specialty with the Chicago OD network. Maybe you’re writing a book or a blog, employing a new tool or system, or have a successful approach on a foundational OD concept. This is your chance to practice your presentation in a safe environment of your peers. If interested, please submit a brief description or outline to admin@odnchicago.org as soon as possible.   
    This is a great opportunity to learn what your peers are doing. Join us for this fun and interesting event!
    In following tradition, we will be introducing the new Board and this program will be free of charge. Come and bring a friend!
    Your ODN/C Board of Directors
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    • Truth Talk
      August 11, 2021
      6:00 pm - 8:15 pm

    Truth Talk: You are an Instrument of Change

    NOTE:  Change of day to Wednesday, August 11th

    Jen Todd will take us on a deep dive to explore ourselves as instruments of change. She will enhance our self- awareness and better understand the link between self as instrument and our impact as OD Practitioners.  Jen will also help us understand what it means to be in and out of alignment mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually and how that impacts the people and systems with which  we work.

    She will take us through an experience to get us centered so we can be a more grounded, clear and powerful. Jen will also share about her new book, Daily Nuggets of Truth, and how holistic personal growth makes a difference in all that we do.

    Post Event Resource

    ODN_TruthTalk_InstrumentofChange_Aug21-VFINAL – Copy

    About Our Facilitator:  Jen Todd

    Jennifer (Jen) Todd, Founder and CEO of Breakthrough Partners, Inc., is an experienced coach and consultant. She supports leaders in developing the attitudes and behaviors needed for high performance, discovering their purpose and achieving their missions. Her business strategy and organization development background, coupled with her deep expertise in human behavior and personal change, allow her a breakthrough approach in her coaching that powerfully transforms leaders and teams.

    She is gifted at uncovering the truth and inspiring deep life-changing insights that translate into measurable behavior change. She has acclaimed results with individuals and executive leadership teams in helping them uncover their purpose and path. She has led multiple large scale culture change programs at Financial Services Companies that significantly increased leadership development, employee engagement, teamwork and inclusion.

    Jen’s clients over the years include C-level Executives, Vice Presidents, Directors, leaders at all levels, internal HR/OD Professionals and entrepreneurs. Some of her clients include PwC, Deloitte, Allstate Insurance Company, ADP, Healthcare Services Corporation and various private firms. Prior to establishing the business, she held various roles advising leaders on organizational change, HR, Operations and consulting roles with Arthur Andersen and AON Consulting.

    Jen holds a Master of Science in Organization Development from Pepperdine University, an Executive Business Program. During the program, Jennifer led multiple international consulting projects and wrote a thesis on the Effectiveness of Competency Models. She also holds a Bachelor degree in Psychology from Michigan State University.

    Jen is a certified in the House model, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and is a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). She is trained in whole system transformation, Gestalt methods of coaching and consulting and is a guest Faculty for the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland.

    She has published a book www.dailynuggestsoftruth.com, coaching articles, a blog and a book chapter on her success with large scale transformation http://breakthroughpartner.com/PDFs/WST_Chapter_PractingOD_final.pdf

    She is passionate about women’s empowerment and founded a mission in Africa that has impacted tens of thousands of people in indigenous Kenya. She lives on a small lake outside of Detroit with her daughter, Kenya, and in her personal time she loves yoga, personal growth, and boating on her lake.

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