The 2017 Organizational Development Consortium (ODC) Conference welcomed a record number of attendees at its annual gathering hosted by Wake Forest University. 48 representatives from 36 institutions of higher education across the United States met from June 5th through 7th to network and share best practices regarding organizational development, professional development, learning, training, and coaching.
Michele Gillespie, Dean of Wake Forest College and Presidential Endowed Chair of Southern History, offered the opening keynote during Monday evening’s welcome reception. Speaking to the organizational development professionals in the room, Dean Gillespie shared that “higher education has never needed your talents or vision more.” She continued,”through the training, the coaching, the talent work, the workshops, all the services and supports that you provide, you give people a wonderful tool kit with which to make higher ed rock and roll, and succeed – you help faculty and staff gain footholds and to focus and grow.”
Attendees were bright-eyed and eager to get started on Tuesday morning. John Champlin, Assistant Director of Wake Forest University’s Professional Development Center, welcomed the group and offered a history of the conference and the goals and objectives of the ODC. Shannon Seales from the University of Denver then took the floor to offer insight into her efforts to deliver an onboarding experience that is focused on engagement and retention of new employees. The morning closed with a presentation from Bucknell University’s Lisa Adams-Verge and WFU’s John Champlin as they recounted their collaboration in designing and building a supervisor training that would prove useful on both campuses. As their session concluded, attendees found collaboration partners in the room based on upcoming projects.
After lunch, Shemika Bell introduced and explained the three modules that make up Wake Technical Community College’s Leadership Program. A rousing round of Speed Networking facilitated by Elizabeth Dam-Regier of the WFU’s Human Resources Project Office allowed attendees to get to know each other while introducing a fun and easy icebreaker. Gail Napora lead a session that provided information about how James Madison University has recruited, developed, empowered, and rewarded 148 volunteer facilitators. An assessments panel moderated by Melissa Clodfelter of Wake Forest University closed day one. The panelists, Allie Cox, University of Georgia; Carrie Herrig, University of North Dakota; Nathan Strong, University of South Carolina; and Sherry Wright of Washington and Lee University, each spoke to an assessment that they frequently use on their campus for organizational and leadership development purposes.
Wednesday began with a session from Shayla Herndon-Edmunds from Wake Forest University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Shayla detailed WFU’s efforts to deepen intercultural understanding in the faculty and staff population. The group participated in an activity that simulates communicating through layers before ending the main part of the conference with a large group Roundtable Discussion. Topics covered in the discussion included marketing learning events, learning management systems, innovation in leadership development programs, integrating improvisation techniques in workshops, and more. After lunch, some attendees participated in an optional debrief of the FourSight Assessment. FourSight is a tool used at Wake Forest to help individuals and teams identify their creativity and problem-solving preferences. FourSight generously donated the assessments for this event. Learn more about how WFU uses FourSight here.
The Professional Development Center Team at Wake Forest University extends its deepest appreciation to our presenters and participants for the energy and enthusiasm they brought to this event.
The 2018 Organizational Development Consortium Conference will be held May 21-23 on the campus of Baylor University in Waco, Texas.
Institutions in attendance: Baylor University, Bucknell University, Colorado College, Davidson College, Durham Technical Community College, Eastern Michigan University, Elon University, Georgetown University, Georgia Tech, Guilford Technical Community College, James Madison University, Rice University, Saint Louis University, The Citadel, University of Alabama, University of Arkansas, University of Arizona, University of Cincinnati, University of Denver, University of Georgia, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina – Charlotte, University of North Carolina – Greensboro, University of North Carolina – Wilmington, University of North Dakota, University of Rhode Island, University of Richmond, University of South Carolina, University of South Florida – St. Petersburg, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest University, Wake Technical Community College, Washington and Lee University, Wayne State University, Western Carolina University