ASTD-OC has kicked-off the new year and we’ve been busy creating and putting plans in place. We have an energetic and dedicated leadership team strategizing and implementing chapter plans. You can check out the leadership team org chart under the About Us tab. The leadership team continues to work on the six strategic imperatives defined in 2011 to guide our action and goals. Our imperatives:
Enhance Operational Infrastructure
Plan and Execute Leadership Succession
Plan for Financial Sustainability
Plan for Leveraging Technology
Plan for Membership Benefits
Plan, Retain & Increase Membership
Plans also include opportunities for members to participate in a variety of learning events, including SIG events, chapter and national workshops, webinars, and social media. Right now, members have an opportunity to attend a complimentary ASTD Certificate Program in April – look for information on our website. Various mediums provide members with access to board meeting minutes, follow-up chapter learning event/speaker information, LinkedIn discussion boards, OrangeSpiehl Online, Timely Information, SIGnificant News, blogs (like this), and daily Tweets and Facebook messages.
Yes, planning is a big part of any new year and we have a number of plans in the works. We are always open to hearing from the chapter and I invite you to let us know how we’re doing. Please share your ideas on learning event topic suggestions, how we can support you and the training and development community, and how we communicate with you – how you like to get information, what you’d like to change. We’d love to hear from you! Contact me at email@example.com.
ASTD-OC, 2012 Chapter President
Come for the content. Stay for the community.
As we approach the new year with fresh eyes and a resolve to make changes here or there, perhaps it's an opportune moment to shake up our network a little bit. Who did we add to our network in 2011 that we have not connected with as we had planned? Who do we want to add to our network today?
It's also probably a good idea to dust off that elevator speech that we've been using for a bit too long. While a new year does not necessarily mean a "new you," it does imply a new business environment -- your elevator speech should adapt to reflect that.
Now, you should have a basic elevator speech that's applicable to anyone you meet. But be prepared to modify it when you have specific information about the person you're talking to. The more relevant you make your speech to the listener, the more you will stick in that person's mind when you touch base with them later.
Here's a quick format for swiftly organizing your thoughts when people ask what you do.
This format keeps the content focused on the listener, and invites collaboration (as opposed to an easily-forgotten exchange of information).
ASTD-OC will have four opportunities for you to practice your elevator speech (and increase your network) this month. Check out our Events Calendar to see which one you'd like to participate in!
2011 has been a great year for our chapter. It has been characterized by high member involvement and volunteerism, dynamic meetings, and significant changes which have helped position us for future success.
Please click here to read about our successes and the people who have made it possible.
Denise A. Lamonte
ASTD-Orange County 2011 President
The end of the year often provides time for reflection, and as outgoing Past President I find myself thinking about my tenure on the Board -- what I've accomplished, and what I've learned.
I began my Presidency with a vision -- that ASTD-Orange County should be the destination for training and development professionals of all experience levels to come together to develop skills which they had no opportunity to develop at their day job (or lack thereof). ASTD-Orange County would become a community of practice, and those who participated within that community would add skillsets to their professional abilities and experience to their resume. It was a bold vision, and one that I still believe we can achieve. We didn't get there under my Presidency -- too many things were in the way, too many resources were not at our disposal.
I agree that I'm one of my own harshest critics. That said, I believe that my Presidency had floundered trying to figure out how to accomplish my Vision. Thus, as Denise Lamonte transitioned into the 2011 Presidency, our discussions focused less on where the Chapter could go in the future and more on the gaps within the Chapter's organization.
This is an aspect of Denise's Presidency that I believe I learned the most from -- Organizational Leadership. While Denise and I had both identified several areas within the Chapter that needed to be developed before my Vision could be realized, the Chapter needed to strengthen its community overall.
Denise's skill as an Organizational Leader allowed her to address systemic challenges within the Chapter that I had been unable to. Denise established clear expectations, action plans, consequences for not meeting those expectations, and follow-up for inaction. She created a structure in which the Chapter Leadership reported to and worked with the "Three Presidents" (myself, Denise, and Rhonda) in order to achieve strategic chapter imperatives. Establishing expectations, creating accountable management structure, these concepts were not new things to me. But they were things that I had never worked on creating before my turn as President. So in my tenure, attempts at creating such a structure had either failed or backfired. Under Denise's Presidency, I experienced how best to accomplish these vital leader tasks.
In fact, many of the successes that I've seen the Chapter celebrate this year - and I'm going to try not to sound too hubristic here -- have some foundation in ideas that I'd put forward two to three years ago. Structures that had been proposed, yet not adopted until today. Technology that had been but tampered with, now embraced as we reach out to the younger generations of trainers.
To get a sense of what I mean, consider the changes to our website over the past few years. Our website had needed upgrading for some time, but how the site should be upgraded was a matter of discussion that was visited, then revisited, and revisited again. Our new site that had been created by the beginning of 2010 -- the Joomla-based site -- was a result of a Vision of what the Chapter could be - that vibrant Community of Practice, both online and real-world. The current website is reflective of where the Chapter is now, and will be for the near future -- a smaller community in need of a sustainable member resource, both in man-power and expense.
Perhaps one of the biggest ways in which Denise's Organizational Leadership efforts have come to initiate the Community of Practice I had envisioned can be seen with the number of volunteers who have willingly and openly shared their "lessons learned" after completing a project. Damion Donaldson was was quite public about his "lessons learned." Pamela Coca has shared her lessons learned with Chapter Leadership, in doing so building a strong, emulatable Technology and Training SIG.
I look forward to seeing how Rhonda Askeland shall lead the Chapter in the coming year. Where I see myself as having been a "visionary leader," and Denise as having been an "organizational leader," I see Rhonda serving as an "inspirational leader." She is nothing less than a positive force of nature, one who will inspire the 2012 Chapter Leadership (both Board and Managers) to accept the organizational challenges that we face and the vision of what we seek to achieve, and address them together.
Looking back, I believe this was one of the great strengths of our Board: that the Three Presidents held such diverse skillsets: Visionary, Organizational, and Inspirational. Thus armed, we were able to address the Chapter concerns from a variety of perspectives. Just as the trainer cannot train only for the visual learner without alienating those auditory and kinesthetic learners, so does an organization's leadership suffer from having only Visionaries at the helm, or only Organizers. Having a Board with strong Vision, Organization, and Inspirational leadership may be the key to its future successes.
I attended the ASTD Chapter Leaders’ Conference a few weeks ago and shared the ASTD-OC motto, “Come for the content. . . stay for the community” with fellow chapter leaders. All were very impressed – it may even show up as a motto for other chapters. The reason I mention this is that we have a very strong community where people are able to gain many benefits from being a member.
When you go to our Membership tab and look at the benefits, you see quite a number of events and offerings. Yet, the power of those events and offerings that the community gains aren’t always clear. A few highlights:
Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” We have a community that continues to build success by working together. We’re proud that ASTD-OC provides high value to its members and has helped many people connect through the power of community.
A little over a month ago, Kathleen Sedwick (pictured, right) filled out ASTD-OC's online Volunteer Interest Form. "I am a mid-life career changer (former teacher with an M.Ed.) and have been in graduate school earning an MBA with an HR concentration since last June, 2010." she shared. "I had lunch with Janet DiVicenzo a few weeks ago ... and she suggested getting more involved with ASTD-OC and volunteering to work with the chapter." Kathie and I subsequently exchanged emails in an attempt to connect, with little success until we both attended a Career Management SIG Meetup.
We took the opportunity to meet right then and there. I learned that as a teacher, it was the areas of instructional design and educational technology that Kathie found most interesting and satisfying. During that time, she saw the need for more well-designed, engaging, effective, research-based instruction utilizing today's technology in both education and training and development. Recognizing that this is the direction she wanted to take her career, Kathie sought out opportunities to develop those skills. Along the way, she found ASTD-Orange County.
"ASTD-OC has provided invaluable benefits to me through its SIG groups, Learning Events, and networking opportunities," Kathie shared with me. "I decided I wanted to be more involved in the organization for the opportunities in my own personal and professional development, to further develop my skills in communications and social media, and to expand my network."
One member benefit that Kathie has taken great advantage of: our Special Interest Groups (SIGs). At the time of our meeting, she had been to both OD SIG and Career Management SIG Meetups for the month. She was looking forward to the Technology and Training SIG Meetup the following week.
The role of SIG Liaison seemed tailor-made for her.
This role interacts with Special Interest Group leaders to identify what they'll be doing in upcoming months, and ensures that the information is:
Kathie's position will ensure that she collaborates with the SIG, Communications, and CTO functions, and sometimes Marketing.
This position appealed to Kathie for a few reasons:
Kathie sees herself assuming a leadership role within the organization and contributing to ASTD-OC's growth and presence in our local communities.
"I believe that, as an organization, ASTD-OC must continue to promote T&D as an integral and essential component of strategic planning for businesses and support the professional development of its members."
Welcome, Kathie Sedwick! We look forward to great things!
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