Takeaways from #ODNconf2011

The annual Organization Development Network Conference for 2011 is this week in Baltimore. On November 1, my colleague Michelle Milam Davis (@MilamDavis) and I will deliver a session called “Building a Culture of Effective Change Agents Around the Globe”. It leverages our experiences working as change leaders at PepsiCo / Frito Lay for several years.

You might think my biggest takeaways from the first two days of the conference would be based on grand insights gleaned from highly decorated speakers. However, what I’ve really learned the most about so far is TWITTER  … yes, you read that right. My Twitter experience has been the most enlightening so far! Let me explain.

Conference organizers made it clear for those of us on Twitter to use #ODNconf2011 on our Tweets so people could search for messages coming out while the events unfold. Since I just joined the Twitterverse earlier this year, people Tweeting real-time during such events is new to me. Oh my, what a difference it makes!

  • I’ve connected with Tweeps almost constantly the last two days – more than possible in person because it continues after the events end. I talk to people at the various sessions, but I know the online connections will continue because we can keep following one another on Twitter
  • I have dozens more followers and RTs (re-Tweets for those who do not yet know the lingo)
  • Perhaps most importantly, I find myself listening to the speakers ever-more attentively, trying to find just the right nuggets to turn into 140 characters worth of gold that the rest of the Twitterverse must see

Some may call this a distraction. Some may view it as disrespectful to “play” on my smartphone while an expert speaks. But since the session we deliver is on Day 3 of the conference, I now know to be more offended if participants DON’T Tweet about it than if they do!

My eyes have been opened to the interactive experience social media provides in addition to the one in person.

Find me on Twitter @BetsyWinkler1 whether you want to comment on this blog, on #ODNconf2011 or your own Twitter experience.