Written by Marianne Boyles and Deirdre Brown.

The ACMP Regional conference was held in Vancouver this year. As proud Vancouverites we were eager to attend and take the opportunity to discover, develop and connect with fellow change practitioners.
Keynote speaker, Dr. Dawn Marie Turner, opened with a quote from Mark Twain, “let us make a special effort to stop communicating with each other, so we can have some conversation”, introducing, what would be, some of the key themes of the conference – story telling and drawing from multidisciplinary techniques such as neuroscience, engagement and tapping into creativity. Some of our key takeaways from “this conversation” were:
  • Why conversation? How many a-ha moments have you had through email? Conversation is a unique and wonderful tool which most leaders do not use
  • Conversation = Action Conversation during change is one of the key drivers for increasing employee engagement
  • Set the intention for conversation – adopt a vocabulary grounded in readiness instead of resistance
Post co-author Marianne Boyles

Another compelling conversation was led by Joe Rafter who guided us through his experiences as an enterprise change leader. Grounded in his personal experiences, Joe shared the concept of our Personal Process (capability as a change leader) and our shared Corporate Process (shared capability). Joe’s key words of wisdom included:

  • Personal Process – allow yourself to be a rookie; give yourself the same compassion you give loved ones
  • Corporate Process – hone your craft; don’t train like a high school athlete if you are aiming for the Olympics, it takes time!
  • In order to grow you must persist through discomfort!
Bill Hefferman’s session on Resilience and Thriving in the Face of Change and Adversity was a highlight as we continued our conversation into day two. Bill spoke to empirically based resilience practices and solutions for thriving through adversity, and supporting others along their own path to adaptation and commitment.  One key take away was his learning map to create a resilience development plan, which included the five C’s of resilience and how to identify when you are above or below the line.
Post co-author Deirdre Brown

The most unique and immersive conversation in our conference experience, was Playing for the #Win facilitated by Rob Oddi, change expert and Playologist! This was a powerful (and seriously fun) way to continue the conversation while connecting the 70-80% of our brain cells we use when building with our hands to our subconscious thinking.

Rob provided an overview of LEGO SERIOUS PLAY method and techniques that can be used to foster open dialogue, ideas and an innovative mindset through the power of leveraging kinesthetic, visual and auditory styles of learning. See the group in some serious play in action here (courtesy- Rob Oddi).

This session, like so many others during the conference, emphasized the potential for connecting innovation with cross discipline knowledge and approaches to support and enable successful change–a connection we are eager to continue building in our practice and with our ACMP colleagues at future events.