Events Blog

Read about past TODN events here.
  • 03 Mar 2016 8:40 AM | Anonymous

    Lisa Taylor engaged us from the outset, challenging us to consider demographics and the ageing workforce as the "Talent Revolution" carries on.  A few of the highlights included:

    •  "myth busting" - i.e. millennials will not necessarily have more careers than their boomer counterparts
    • opportunities to embrace and use our "yeah buts" to identify needs 
    • recognizing that the retirement age of 65 was a construct from the 1930's when average life expectancy was 62!
    • considering a new paradigm re our careers including a segment called "legacy career" for those between 50-75! considering life expectancy is now well into the 80's (and if you make it to 65 it's very likely you'll make it to 85)
    • recognizing that the "freelance economy" does not = "precarious employment"
    A lively discussion occurred, Lisa shared research and resources with us, and members engaged in the dialogue offering challenging and differeing opinions which kept the evening lively and thought provoking.

    Thanks to Lisa, and to our terrific membership. And as OD practitioners we need to continue to be catalysts for change by asking the questions and encouraging others to do the same. 

    Lisa's slides are attached.

  • 11 Dec 2015 9:36 AM | Anonymous

    TODN's Winter Social was, as always, lots of fun, giving our members a chance to connect and create new relationships with colleagues, and to re-connect with old friends and colleagues from positions past :). Food, drink, games and great conversations - what more could we want! 

    It's been a great fall for TODN with lots of participation and "engagement" at our events, and I thank all of you who have come and participated in making this such a wonderful, open and interesting community of OD practitioners. 

    I am also grateful to our wonderful Board - an awesome team of individuals who share their expertise, energy and wisdom, ensuring we are creating the events and the environment that provides you, our members, with a positive and supportive network for learning and growth. 

    I've attached some pics of our Winter Social, and wish you all a wonderful holiday season. We look forward to seeing you in the New Year as we continue to share the wisdom of our collective experiences. 

    Take good care,


    Glennie Mercer (TODN Board President) 

  • 24 Oct 2015 1:33 PM | Deleted user

    Once again, we had a great turnout for our second Fall event – Achieving Outcomes Through Building Human Connection – facilitated by Greg Witz, President and CEO of Witz Education (despite competing with Game 5 of the Toronto Blue Jays American League Division Series against the Texas Rangers!)

    Greg walked us through the six Ego States: Critical Parent, Nurturing Parent, Adult, Spontaneous Child, Withdrawn Child, and Angry Child, and shared how we have all of these at some level and are able to turn them up or down.  To learn more about the ego states, participants completed a sample Multi-Rater Personality Inventory prior to the session and received their reports at the event!

    Greg presented the ideas with great energy and shared relatable and practical examples and stories.

    As always, it was an engaging evening of learning, sharing, and connecting with our TODN community!

    To learn more about Witz Education, visit

    We look forward to seeing you at our next event on November 18th – our annual social heading into the holiday season.  Stay tuned for details coming soon!

  • 29 Sep 2015 11:18 AM | Anonymous

    Wow! What a start to our Fall 2015 series on Redefining Engagement! With a record turnout of over 40 participants, we had a terrific panel of individuals offering varying expertise, perspectives and ideas regarding Generations in the Workplace. We also had wonderful and insightful comments, questions and perspectives from the audience. The energy was great as we agreed on some aspects presented, shared information from our various sectors and experiences, questioned ideas to challenge our thinking, and did all of this in the spirit of learning and understanding. 

    TODN is an amazing group of individuals focused on enhancing and creating positive workplaces. Our eclectic members are forthright, positive, engaged and committed OD professionals, representing a wide variety of organizations and industries. 

    A wonderful evening!

  • 12 Jun 2015 10:08 AM | Anonymous

    TODN is an absolutely wonderful network! 

    We had a terrific "Unconference" to close out our 2014/2015 season, as members shared ideas, questions and information in an "Open Space" format. The challenge for all of us was picking a few sessions to participate in, as they all offered great dialogue and interesting opportunities for exploration and learning.Questions and topics included:

    • Great openings for facilitation
    • Fun with markers
    • What's going on in the world that's affecting OD?
    • SOAR +
    • Lego serious play
    • The future of Performance Reviews
    • How do we do cross border work? 
    • Comedy and culture

    There was an open and creative vibe in the room, and lots of laughter as we shared experiences, resources, ideas and thoughts about the many ways in which we practice and engage with our clients. 

    I am proud to be a member of this wonderful community, and am looking forward to our fall programs as we kick off in Sept. with our theme of "Redefining Engagement"!

    Have a great summer everyone and we look forward to seeing you Sept. 16th.

    Take care,


  • 09 Jun 2015 1:33 PM | Anonymous

    Todd Charron facilitated a wonderfully interactive session with our TODN community at our May event. Engaging, Fun, Experiential, Active, Energizing!!!

    We expanded our ideas and perspectives regarding how and when to use Improv, as we learned a variety of possibilities as to it's uses with our clients. And YES - you can take it into organizations!

    Todd is an engaging and energetic facilitator who had us moving around, up and out of our chairs, mixing it up in different groups, playing in front of one another, and really challenging us to move out of our comfort zones!

    Laughter and learning are always a wonderful combination and Todd created an environment for both to thrive. 

  • 01 Apr 2015 4:58 PM | Anonymous

    Thanks to Phil LeNir, who presented an engaging and practical model to our TODN community on Peer Coaching. 

    The framework provides participants concrete theories and models created by leading thought experts, and then guides them through small group dialogues using key questions to engage thinking, reflection, and inquiry related to the content. It's an opportunity for participants to coach one another, as they share their knowledge, expertise and perspectives related to the topics presented.

    Participants were extremely engaged in the practice demo, and comments included:

    "awesome"; "loved the opportunity to go deeper with colleagues"; "I'll be able to incorporate this in my own peer coaching groups"; "the peer coaching experience worked really well";  "the quality of the discussion, regardless of the outcomes, is extremely valuable"; "need to remember to ask questions rather than give advice".

    A terrific evening was enjoyed by all, and we thank Phil for an interesting, useful and energizing presentation. It was a great experience and Phil's presentation can be accessed below. 


  • 11 Dec 2014 3:30 PM | Deleted user

    To close our Fall theme of “Resilience”, we had the pleasure of partaking in a drumming experience facilitated by Terri Segal of Rhythmic by Nature.

    Sitting in a large drumming circle we eagerly awaited the opportunity to begin drumming, shaking and making our cacophonic sounds that would soon become melodious.  Many of us had never drummed before yet within minutes, Terri got us working together within rhythm.

    Terri split the group into 3 parts, each part playing a different rhythmic pattern that when combined, created a group rhythm greater than the sum of its parts.  So, in order for the full rhythm to be successful, each player really needs to take responsibility for his or her part and work together (sounds a lot like a high performing team). 
 After we played and grooved with the 3 part rhythm (which sounded fantastic!), we spent some time debriefing the experience.

    Words used to describe the experience ranged from joyous, bliss, freedom, liberating and being as one.  One participant shared that the way she dealt with the challenge of being asked to stay with the same rhythm was by experimenting with hand positioning which resulted in creating different sounds while still maintaining the same rhythm. By finding simple ways to change the rhythm allowed her to experience more freedom and enjoyment while still contributing to the success of the overall rhythm.

    Through drumming we had the opportunity to feel out of sync, stuck, overwhelmed, fear of being judged and making mistakes. The need to control lead to the experience of surrender which gave way to just being.   A true sense of being lost in the moment of total connectedness. And as Terri reminds us “just like we do in the drumming process, in our own lives we can: -simplify, less is sometimes more -cultivate resilience -ask for support & support others -experiment  -suspend self-judgment -know that making mistakes is all part of the learning experience -take risks and try something new -listen and trust ourselves -find our own unique voice.”

    If you would like to contact Terri you can reach her at or

    All that drumming and fun lead us right into dinner for our Winter Social.  Dinner was fantastic- for those of you who couldn’t make it; we drank and ate enough for everyone. 

    Looking forward to seeing you all in February.

  • 30 Oct 2014 6:42 PM | Deleted user

    Last week we were thrilled to have Christine Burych of Starlingbrook Leadership Consulting bring her expertise, humour and wisdom to the TODN community. Looking across the room, I was once again impressed by the wealth of experience, and the diversity of organizations present. Clearly, mental health in the workplace is an issue that spans every work environment.

    Opening with some shocking and persuasive research, the case for having mental health strategies in the workplace was quickly made clear. One participant put it well in saying "The hidden costs and wasted human potential are extraordinary today...The ROI on an effective organizational mental health program is a strategic advantage".  Case in point, Christine gracefully challenged us to see the mental models that have created stigmatizing thoughts and beliefs in all of us, and offered some excellent tools for facilitating important conversations about mental health in the workplace. "Clearly an expert, Christine brings mental health into the conversation in a way that we can all work with in our professional communities" suggested one participant. Christine moved us through the continuum, from identification of risk factors that contribute to mental health issues in the workplace, warning signs of the most common workplace mental health issues, and opportunities to integrate specific strategies such as into existing Organizational Development initiatives (e.g., appreciative inquiry, change management, and emotional intelligence initiatives).

    "Dynamic, knowledgeable, and very engaging", Christine set us on the right path for incorporating mental health strategies within our organizations, even offering a number of resources to continue the learning (listed below).

    If you're interested in exploring the concepts in more depth, you can contact Christine Burych through

    Some helpful resources from Christine include:
    Thanks for coming, and we look forward to seeing you at our Winter Social in November!
  • 24 Sep 2014 1:36 PM | Deleted user

    Wednesday, September 17 kicked off our fall theme of Building Resilient Workspaces. Andrew Soren a graduate of, and Assistant Instructor at, the University of Pennsylvania's internationally renowned Master of Applied Positive Psychology and a Senior Advisor of Talent Management at BMO, provided a thought provoking introduction to the science of resilience.

    There was so much applicable information and relevant tools introduced in this session it will be a challenge to whittle it down into a manageable blog post. I will stick with a few key take-aways from my perspective, and invite you to check out any number of resources at the end of this blog.

    According to research, in particular Reivich and Shatte resilience is strongest as a result of six factors Emotional Awareness; Impulse Control; Optimism; Self-Efficacy; Flexible Accurate Thinking and Empathy and Connection. How we think changes how we feel changes what we do – this isn’t particularly new to OD practitioners; however, how the US Army and the University of Pennsylvania are applying this adage and the six factors is moving towards revolutionary.

    Much of their work is steeped in CBT therapy. CBT helps us become more aware of our beliefs and thoughts and how they result in our triggers, which generate an emotional response and subsequent behavior. Andrew’s introduction to CBT and overview of Penn’s Train the Trainer model used with the US Army re-affirmed for me how as OD practitioners it is vital we continue to encourage the adoption of multi-modal programs as opposed to “magic bullet” events to ensure success in any area of focus.

    Andrew also touched on the work being done through in relation to character strengths. Interestingly, if we are able to find new and different ways to use our top 5 character strengths our resilience and optimism will increase; this in itself could have amazingly positive impacts on an organization if utilized well.

    This is just a snapshot of the session and if you were unable to attend we have posted the link to Andrew’s powerpoint below, highlight the link and right click to access the presentation. Other resources mentioned in the session:

    • The Resilience Factor: 7 Keys To Finding Your Inner Strength And Overcoming Life's Hurdles by Karen Reivich
    • Learned Optimism: How To Change Your Mind And Your Life by Martin E. Seligman
    •    - character strengths including free survey
    • University of Nebraska   - doing work on psychological capital (HERO: Hope, Efficacy, Resiliency, Optimism)
    Download Andrew's Presentation:

    Posted by: Beth Allen
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