November 26, 2010

Top Ten Things I Learned at ODI

By Amy Truel

I meant to write this article a month ago-really. I had such a great experience at ODI (Organizational Development Institute) in Houston and there was so much I wanted to share. But, I came back to my life-my busy, busy life. You know the deal.

So there I was, one month later, on a 7 hour car ride to Newport Beach for Thanksgiving and something really cool happened. I thought, “I’m going to come up with the top 10 things I learned at ODI and it will be genuine since I have to do it all from memory.” I didn’t have my notes, but I did have my iPad, some noise canceling headphones, and a strong desire not to listen to Prince of Persia which the kids were watching in the backseat :) I’m sure it is a great movie, but I want to watch it, not listen to it.

So here you go, the product of my procrastination:

Top 10 things Iearned at ODI no particular order)

1. It is easy to finish a book when you have a weekend without your kids. Loved The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo!

2. The Houston Junior League HQ is a palace and they even have their own parking garage.

3. We are a 110 year old women's movement. It is true because Vicki Clark says it is so.

4. Humanity: look for the good in people and focus on that. Sara Speer Selber evoked a lot of emotion around the room when she dared to mix things up and challenge some common beliefs. Read for yourself here.

5. We need to do a better job communicating what we want from our external partners. We worry so much about what we have to offer that we sometimes forget to think about what we want out of the relationships.

6. Toiletry drives are great when you are staying in a hotel! I collected two large bags full of toiletries to benefit domestic violence victims at Next Door Solutions, our DIAD November toiletry drive.

7. Some leagues offer Affinity Groups like Book Clubs or Running Clubs. Not sure if we’ve tried this before but sounded like a good idea to me.

8. Motivate by being passionate and tapping into what members are passionate about.

9. We are a part of something so much bigger and should capitalize on collective resources. How cool would it be to have buddies in similar roles at other leagues to chat with? Be sure to check out the AJLI Website for helpful info!

10. You can design your league focus around one issue and still appeal to a variety of member interests. DIAD can help by providing a broader focus for balance. I have to admit I was skeptical when I first heard about leagues that focused on one issue, but thoughtful planning can make it work. Check out how they do it in Phoenix here.

Thanks for this amazing opportunity-I really enjoyed it, learned a lot, and met some great league members from all over the country. I have lots of handouts for anyone with a burning desire to learn more about Achieving Community Impact!

Amy Truel is currently serving as a co-chair for our Done in a Day (DIAD) committee.

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