Presenters for 2018

We are exited to share the list of selected presenters and sessions for our 2018 conference.  Many thanks to everyone who submitted a proposal.  And, many thanks to the Design Committee for their work on this year's lineup.

Nicole Baker Rosa

Unleashing "Your Future" for the 21st Century

Today, we are reframing the very meaning of work, exploring careers across different disciplines and functional areas. We are embracing our creative and entrepreneurial spirit and seeking work that fulfills our destiny. This requires a more holistic approach to career and personal development, one that allows us to capitalize on networks, enhance leadership skills, and unify personal and professional vision to create a fulfilling life with maximum impact.

During this session, learn to use the principles of Strategic Foresight (an effective strategic business planning process) to chart your own best future. Discover how Strategic Foresight enables you to design an aspirational career path, informed by external trends and internal inquiry.

Edward Beale & William Parry

PDQ Warrior: Learning Lessons from a Maori Canoe  

The Maori of New Zealand are legendary, respected across the centuries for small but mighty canoes paddled by highly trained warriors. The Maori learning techniques mirror those in use by the U. S. military, and can easily be applied to your workforce learning.  In this hands-on session, we teach you how to paddle a Maori “waka,” and then apply the same learning methods to jumpstart performance for your new performers.

 We will show how to adapt an established performance system used by the Maori in New Zealand and throughout the U.S. military to quickly and confidently qualify new performers. The method makes it easy to integrate three learning domains (fundamentals, systems and activities) with coaching and mentoring while building positive corporate culture. New performers get individual attention from top performers with robust wrap-around support. Learn how to apply this centuries-old shortcut to achieve breakthrough organizational performance.

Casey Collins

Focusing on the Why: Evolving to a Learner-Centric Experience at Dunkin' Brands

This presentation will focus on how Dunkin’ Brands selected our current LMS, and how we’ve made improvements to train our wide variety of learners. Our corporate employees as well as employees of franchisees from 2 diverse brands. From age 16-65 and with no way to directly communicate with our audience the LMS really has to speak for itself.

Karen Drummey & Malcolm Johnstone 

Ready, Set, Like! How to Use Social Media Practices in Classroom Settings

How can you leverage what we know about social media and apply it to learning? Let’s explore how to take the positive characteristics of social media and apply them to the classroom setting. We’ll share low-tech and high-tech applications of these concepts using tools you may already have ranging from post-its to web cams that have changed the way we’ve been able to deliver training to our learners for a much more impactful experience. 

(Please note that some portions of session may be video recorded.)

Janet Edmunson

Shining a Light on Unconscious Bias - The Trainer’s Perspective

Everyday unconscious bias slips into our fundamental work responsibilities and learning efforts, even when we consciously don’t want them to and are committed to inclusion. Being biased is just the way our brains work.

Each learner is an individual. However, as trainers, we can’t help but have unconscious bias toward the employees we train. Some we might have more of an affinity to, and unconsciously provide more attention to that learner. While with another learner, who we don’t have a particular affinity to, we unconsciously don’t include in discussions or listen to as attentively, for example. All training professionals can benefit from a better understanding of the insidious nature of unconscious bias and learn steps they can take to truly unleash each individual’s learning potential and contribution to the organization’s performance.

Owen Ferguson

Perception vs. Reality: How People Learn at Work

One of the most important rules in designing anything is to understand and empathize with your target audience. And yet, for all the industry talk of how learning at work is being transformed, to what extent has L&D sought to understand how employees’ learning habits and perceptions are changing?  As we have come to understand the more organic, informal ways that people actually learn at work, the challenge for L&D professionals is how to support, nurture and enhance that learning.

Drawing on three years of evidence-based research, this session will explore the learning habits of managers in mid-to- large sized organizations: how do they learn to overcome unfamiliar challenges, to what extent do they use internal and external social networks to get things done and what do they really think about e-learning?

During the session, you will learn the surprising (and unsurprising) truths about how managers currently learn at work, the challenges we face if we are to take advantage of emerging technologies to support learning at work and how to these insights back to your own organization in order to improve your L&D offerings.

Ed Flahive 

Enhancing Your Learning Strategy Through Video

In this session we will discuss the brain science associated with using video as a powerful learning tool. We will discuss how every organization, regardless of size, can boost learner engagement and learning retention using a YouTube-like experience, while protecting their intellectual property in an ultra-secure environment.  You will see firsthand how three different companies have transformed conventional corporate training into a scalable, affordable and “edutaining” learning culture. We will look at real life examples of best practices companies that are focusing on better performance support at the individual employee level.

Steve Gardiner

One Leader at a Time - OJT in 2018

In a highly interactive, upbeat workshop, ATD participants will experience an example of development which focuses on one learner at a time.  In this rapid fire session, they will practice conflict resolution skills they will be using over the next 3 months on actual back home projects.  Based on the mutual gains, or “win –win” principles, popularized by the Harvard Negotiation Project, the workshop demonstrates how learning can be tailored to the individual participant.  One reason why this development process is so effective is the built in periodic phone check-in coaching sessions provided by an internal or external coach.  Please note: if the ATD participants were in their own organizations going through the program, the coach would contact them individually every 2 weeks for 30 minutes to ensure they were on track using the skills. Participants will be provided with the step by step process to launch the On the Job Development Approach in their organizations.

Michael Leckie

The Three Truths of a Digital Mind: Unfixing your Mindset

Employees can use these techniques to continuously change and improve. In a digital world where customer experience and innovation are key, you need to have a practice to help you learn and grow every day.  I share the 3 Truths, why they matter, how they reflect “digital” and give them simple ways to put on this mindset. There is dialogue and group participation as we think through other ways to put on the mindset together.

Jamie Millard & Gus Murby

Helping Managers Become Workforce Development Partners

We all know that people learn best when classroom training is reinforced and supported by their managers back on–the-job. But, have you ever received pushback from managers when you ask them to accept more responsibility for developing their people?  With responses like “I’m just too busy!” “My team’s so lean now that I have to take-on more of the work myself.” “I’ve got my hands full just getting tasks done.” “Isn’t training your job?” What to do?

In this highly interactive session, using hands on exercises and role-plays, participants will learn how busy managers are particularly well positioned to excel at developing their workforce without diminishing their ability to properly carry out their other duties. Drawing on their extensive research and hands-on experience helping L&D professionals partner with managers, dynamic duo Jamie Millard and Gus Murby will lead this interactive session and share proven tools and tips from Jamie’s book, “Becoming a Can-Do Leader: A Guide for the Busy Manager “ (ATD Press).  Just think of the possibilities if you are able to help your managers step up to be willing and able partners with L&D.

Richard Montanaro

Humans & Data & Analytics:
Why Data Matters to Unleash Your Organization’s Performance

The value of (big) data cannot be underestimated. As seen in the headline from Harvard Business Review, “IT’S TIME TO BLOW UP HR AND BUILD SOMETHING NEW” (HBP, July-Aug, 2015), organizational performance has always relied data and metrics, yet the human resource functions and perhaps even more, the human capital/talent development functions have been slow to embrace, understand and apply “big data”. One learner at a time embraces  the role - and the call to action of each professional in the industry and function - to recognize the flawed error in thinking, and the  over-used adages “to manage it, you must measure it” and “…everything measured equals everything existing and everything that is measured can be managed” (Fitz-enz, 2010). This new mind set focuses more on metrics applied to Soft Data – the Intangible Assets of Capability; Intellectual Capital; Readiness; and Engagement.

In this age of metrics, hard data, big data, data analytics, causation, correlation and business “alignment”, this Workshop will provide real world application to the value of metrics applied to the “employee life cycle”. This proprietary model will be reviewed, with the expectation that participant experiences will be a part of the conversation.

Dave Moss

An Outward Mindset - Enabling Breakthrough Organizational Performance

This session will offer the necessary tools to develop an outward mindset. Participants will first learn the mindset model which describes the power of mindset and how it underlies, drives, and sustains behavioral change. Subsequently, they will learn the difference between an inward mindset, which is largely self-focused, and an outward mindset, which focuses on results and

impact on others. Once participants are able to make this distinction, they will be equipped with frameworks to increase self- awareness, identify an inward mindset, and implement outward practices in day-to-day work. In doing so, participants will learn how an outward mindset, when implemented one learner at a time, will spark innovation, enhance impact on co-workers and customers, increase efficiency, and ultimately unleash organizational performance.

Brent Robertson & Anna Samorukova

Creating Conditions that Invite Growth that Matters to the Learner and the Organization

It is possible to create an organizational ecosystem that compels learners to take advantage of the individualized self-directed learning, and to have that learning lead to enhanced organizational performance. In this session, we are going to discuss a relationship between an organization’s identity and objectives and the learner’s environment that if developed would enhance the impact of any investment in learning and development.

Attendees of this session will be introduced to concepts that include:

  • The health of an organization’s ecosystems has a huge effect on the ability for meaningful learning to take place
  • If a learner sees a relationship between their ambitions and the ambitions of the organization then a connection between self-directed learning and organizational outcomes can be made
  • It’s not so much about the quantity of connections a learner has to their organizations motivations, as the quality

Lou Russell

Transitioning to Agile: How L&D Can Save the Day

Transitioning to an Agile philosophy, process, tools and mindset is a welcome and positive experience. But only after you let go of your Unconscious Bias to Hierarchy. It’s a big change to think and act differently:

  • Satisfying the customer
  • Embracing constant change
  • Creating working ‘stuff’ instead of lots of diagrams
  • Business and Developers collaborating always... really
  • Emphasizing face to face (not email) interaction
  • Taking the time to do things right – work for quality
  • Choosing simplicity over everything
  • Self-organizing teams who shift to the customer need
  • Constantly adjusting through reflection and learning
L&D professionals are often more qualified to identify and shift culture, collaborate no matter what, and focus on the hard “Soft” skills – collaboration, communication and clarity.  L&D can help agile initiatives thrive through implicit organizational change strategies that L&D excels at.

Rob Salafia

Leading from Your Best Self

In our organizations, in our country and in our world, we find ourselves immersed in conditions of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA). Under such stressful conditions, many of us at work find it difficult to show up fully and focus on the mission and tasks in front of us. It is not surprising that leaders might find it equally as difficult to generate a high level of execution from their teams. To achieve such focus and resilience in the face of adversity, it takes a personal commitment to self-development, self-awareness, reflection and mastery. It takes the ability to challenge our own assumptions, find our inner compass and summon the courage to communicate personal messages that reverberate with meaning.

Mark Snow

Assessments A-Z: Tools & Tips for the Entire Employee Life-Cycle

Talent Development is part art, and part science. Your knowledge, experience, and “feel” will always be a critical component to creating a complete picture. High performing organizations bolster those less-tangible aspects with hard data, via assessments. With well-validated, soundly constructed, easily administered and understood tools you can measurably improve every important aspect of attracting, hiring, onboarding, developing, promoting, and retaining your best and brightest employees.

John Weidner & Ross Tartell

Succession Planning: Making Employee Development Personal

This session will enable the line manager, Talent professional, or Human Resource leader to align the organization’s strategy, succession plan and talent development efforts into a coherent and impactful approach. By the end of the session, talent development professionals will know how to use the processes and resources of succession planning to create personalized developmental approaches that will increase individual capabilities, engagement and performance.  

Karen Whelan-Berry & Megan McDonough

Unleashing Engagement & Productivity - VIA Strengths

It’s a uniquely human capacity to positively focus and shape our personal and professional performance. Excellent individual performance is a cornerstone of team and organizational performance and outcomes. Excellent performance is often achieved through our strengths, yet only 3% of employees report a strengths approach in their organization. A strengths approach increases employee engagement, productivity, effective goal achievement, job satisfaction, and well being. In this experiential session, we teach how VIA Character Strengths ( can be used to elevate individual and team performance, resulting in higher organizational performance. VIA Character Strengths are a free to low cost assessment and related resources, which research shows are valid and meaningful globally and for the global workforce. Using a recent case study, along with an applied/experiential approach throughout the session, participants learn how a strengths approach can enhance performance and supercharge employee feedback and recognition, and how strengths can be a cornerstone of leadership development. Participants will be introduced to their own character strengths, including Signature Strengths, related tools and techniques, how to use Character Strengths to elevate their own performance and those of their team members. Character Strengths practices will then be linked to employee feedback and recognition, team-building, and leadership development.

Karin Whitley

Discover the Holistic Approach to Organizational Development

Learn ways to ignite enthusiasm in your organization by involving your staff through creative Onboarding initiatives, fun Social Media Communication, a meaningful Peer Recognition Incentive Program and Daily Mindfulness Practices. Employee engagement can flourish when diverse, multi-generational workforces can work side by side, share their strengths and expertise, and collaborate toward the organization’s mission and vision.

Julie Young

Building the Performance Habit: Discover and Patch the Hidden Leak in Your Day

Did you know that the average corporate worker receives 121 emails per day? (Templafy)

People worldwide will send 8.3 trillion text messages in just this year alone. That’s almost 23 billion messages per day, or almost 16 million messages per minute. (Portio Research)

With all these distractions and the fact that the attention span of a human is only 8 seconds, it’s no wonder we can’t fit learning into our days. Find out how you are losing up to 80% of your day ... and how to fix it. There’s a hidden leak in your daily routine that prevents you from being as productive as you could be and prevents you from being able to incorporate ongoing learning. You could be up to 5x more productive and get more done in 90 days than most people get done in a year.

Context switching is the loss of time and energy due to multi-tasking or switching attention from one activity to another. It’s when we jump from that email to the project report we need to finish. When we pop out of that quality (or leadership, or time management, or whatever) training to respond to the “ding” from an incoming text message. And one distraction leads to another before you realize you need to get back to that project report you were working on and you’ve just burned up the hour you had set aside to complete that report. Oh well, another late night catching up.

We can train ourselves to stay focused and reduce the impact of context switching on our daily and weekly performance. The strategies used in this session have been proven in real life with tens of thousands of learners and have been implemented to support the ongoing application of leadership skills with my clients. Using simple toolkit, you’ll learn how to build weekly and daily learning application practices that deliver real organizational results and support ongoing personal learning.

ATD New England is a partnership between the existing ATD Chapters located in the New England Region.

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