Recently I asked the question on the Organizational Change Practitioners Linkedin Group about what the quality professional development opportunities are for experienced change managers in 2015.


When some contributors challenged whether you can get Return On Investment from a conference, I clarified what my criteria were for ROI in conferences.

  1. I walk a way with one new idea (outside of traditional OCM knowledge – what I call horizontal learning)
  2. There is one session that makes me reflect on my practice critically
  3. I meet one person who would be cool to have at a dinner party
  4. I meet one person who would be useful to me in developing ideas and bouncing off things, either virtually or in person from time to time.
  5. I meet one person who I can help out in some-way (connections or knowledge)
  6. It’s in a great location – worth sitting on a plane from Melbourne Australia to get to.

In the first criterion I made reference to “horizontal learning”. I don’t know what the proper term for it is — but if I think about vertical learning in the Organisational Change field representing depth of knowledge (experience, academic, and or self study of core texts and the classics of organisational change management), then horizontal learning is gained through exposure to knowledge that adds value to my practice as a change manager, but is not necessarily about change management.

And right on cue – Gail Severini over at the Change Whisperer has published her 2015 version of the Change Management Conferences to go to – these are what I would call “vertical knowledge”. Bookmark this one and if you know of others of this type do let Gail know.

So this post offers up some of the opportunities available for those working in change management who want to be challenged by ideas and concepts slightly broader than those in the vertical. A big thanks to the hive mind of the Organisational Change Practitioners Group for offering up quite a few of these options. Got any to add? Leave it in the comments and I’ll update!




17 – 18 Future of Work, World at Work, Nashville, Tennessee, USA

23-25 Creative Innovation CI2015, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia



15-19 Creativity and Innovation – CREA Europe, Sestri Levante Italy

21 – 23 Organizational Design , ODF Annual Conference, Silicon Valley, California, USA

23 – 25 Creativity and Spirituality – Edgewalkers, Barcelona, Spain

29 – 30 Future of Work, Centre for Workplace Leadership, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


5-7 Social Business – CeBIT Australia, Sydney, NSW, Australia

17-20 Learning and Development – International Conference and Exposition , Orlando, Florida, USA



14- 17 Communication, IABC World Conference, San Francisco, California, USA

17 – 18 Agile – AgileAustralia, Sydney, NSW, Australia

17-21 Creative Problem Solving – Creative Problem Solving Institute, Buffalo, New York, USA

27 – 1 HR – Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Las Vegas, Nevada, USA



14 – 16 Organization Health – Better Workplace Conference, Gatineau, QC, Canada

20-21 Social networking and platforms – Enterprise 2.0 Summit, London, UK

17 – 20 – OD, International Association of Organisational Development, Portland, Oregon, USA



3-5 Neuroscience – Neuroscience Leadership Summit, New York, New York, USA



Dr Jen Frahm – Author of Conversations of Change: A guide to implementing workplace change.


  1. Wendy says:

    Jennifer, here is a good one for horizontal learning. ODF Annual Conference, Sunnyvale,CA April 2015. Small conference filled with people using unique methods and approaches to design and develop organizations for transformation and change. Day 1 this year has a strong healthcare track. Day 2 will be an open forum for community sharing and learning. It is a small gathering, less than 100 people, so attendees can meet everyone, connect and have robust thought provoking conversations. http://organizationdesignforum.org/2015-conference/

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