Written By: Ken McGill, EdS, LMFT
By now, you may have heard the news about this year’s conference moving completely to a virtual platform. Serving as chair, I was so hopeful for an in-person experience, and the planning was taking place right up to the very last minute for this to happen. However, with the continued impact of COVID and the delta-variant on states, counties, and individual communities, there was no other choice but to keep health and safety paramount. In fact, each week since January 7th the Conference Planning Committee has met to prepare for the 17th Annual TCOM Conference.
As chairperson, I witnessed firsthand the many facets connected to preparations for a worldwide 3-day conference. On Thursday mornings at 9:00 am, a dedicated group of individuals came together to outline each step needed to move us towards the completion and kick-off of an amazing conference. This conference was an event that I looked forward to from the moment last year’s conference ended. In many ways the 2020 Conference really did not end for me, rather it expanded into a weekly and monthly experience where TCOM was alive and part of my daily life.
Last year’s conference had to be setup in a way that paralleled the shift we all made back in March of 2020. The worldwide pandemic abruptly created an overnight switch to a new virtual world, where we worked from home, children/youth attended school virtually, and tried to remain connected to our community. Our once in-person world morphed to totally online with a ‘flick of a switch’ and technology became our ‘life-line’ to the outside world. We all managed as we moved forward throughout 2020 and most of 2021. All of us began to laugh and look back at the mishaps we experienced working from home; everything from testing our internet bandwidth, to our children and pets entering the room letting us know that they were hungry or just wanted to play.
The 2020 TCOM Conference was a success because of the work of so many who were able to shift to a completely virtual platform for three full days of amazing sharing. The conference continued the journey of the past 16 years of Transformational Collaborative Outcomes Management. The takeaway for me was not about the event being held online, but that conversations were continuing in support of the work being done throughout the world. The work will always be the ‘take-away’ for everyone who is part of the TCOM Collaborative. I remember Dr. Lyons discussing the importance of ‘remoralization’ of the shared vision, whereby clearly defining our work as transformational in serving those in need of assistance, support, and care.
TCOM-365 will actively support the work of those who have attended conferences in the past, who will attend this year, and those who may have never have the opportunity to attend the actual event. We will be bringing TCOM worldwide through our transformative collaborations.
So, I would like to re-moralize this blog message for a clear ‘take-away’ as we move closer to the October 6th start of the 2021 TCOM Conference. Since our world continues to be greatly impacted by less than positive events, let’s all make a commitment to enhance the purpose of TCOM by expanding it from a 3-day event to 365-days of collaborative activities. We must recognize that each of us not only play an important role as change agents in our work, but also in our homes and throughout our communities. TCOM-365 will actively support the work of those who have attended conferences in the past, who will attend this year, and those who may have never have the opportunity to attend the actual event. We will be bringing TCOM worldwide through our transformative collaborations.
Here are just some of the ways to start TCOM-365 today:
1. You may sign up for the TCOM YouTube Channel to listen, learn and share.
2. You can also go to TCOMConversations.org and read up on the blogs and write up a blog about your work and share your ideas for the world to read.
3. If you haven’t already done so, review the Conference draft agenda. If you like what see you can make sure to attend the session.
If you are a little more adventurous, you may want to email the presenter(s) with some questions to learn more about their work. For example, I will be co-facilitating a session with Lizzie Minton-Kentucky Child Welfare Clinical Consultant, “Using the CANS to Engage and Support Children & Families-Beyond Certification & Compliance” if you were to email me at email@example.com we would be sure to include those answers during our presentation.
TCOM-365 is needed more than ever to strengthen our world-wide collaboration; especially in the efforts to support our workforce and their well-being as they continue to navigate challenges. When I was putting together a webinar back in August, I reached out to several key individuals who embody the essence of TCOM. There were four amazing panelists who shared their time and knowledge around ‘A Collaborative Discussion: Workforce Well-Being, Post-COVID Challenges & Opportunities’
In this spirit of TCOM-365, let us hear from each of you on the ways we all can actively support this shift from 3-days to the entire year of transformational collaboration outcomes management! Remember to sign up for the TCOM YouTube Channel just click here, read and contribute to TCOM Conversations to the blog just click here and if you want to make a difference in our world just click here and continue to do what you do to make this world a better place (the last click here is for you to fill in and share with all of us!).
Looking forward to all the tomorrows leading up to TCOM Conference 2021 and beyond!
Ken, I think TCOM-365 is a great idea. And thank you for again bringing my attention to the TCOM YouTube Channel. I’m going to try and watch something new to me each week. One of the sessions I liked the most from last year was “The Conversation Lab: Enhancing Collaborative Engagement” presented by Monica Lee and Miranda Miller from Allegheny County Department of Human Services in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. They presented ideas for using short videos and games and other tools to make it fun and interesting to learn about TCOM principles. I made a conscious decision to look for ways to incorporate Micro Training and Gamification in my work. And, of course, these useful ideas can be applied to any kind of work or communication or even family dialogue. One of the ways I implemented the ideas from last year is through something I call “MicroLearning Minutes”. I’m using “MLM” in the sessions I run as part of TechSoup Connect for Timebanking & Community Organizations. Examples of how we are using MLMs are the short video links at the bottom of https://www.ytbrn.org/tsc4tbo/ . Another example is the goofy quiz and “2 Things” questions (that youth helped me compose) at the bottom of https://www.ytbrn.org/news-events/ytblinks/ . The link at the bottom of that page is for YTB SCANS, which is something I learned about that may be shared at this year’s conference, based on the work of Todd Johnson, PhD of ESD113 in Washington State. You can see the “SCANS” that YTB youth complete at https://form.jotform.com/211845054269054 — One of the “new to me” ways of getting everyone involved that I’ve been learning and practicing this year is Liberating Structures, https://www.liberatingstructures.com/ . I think LS is very compatible TCOM given its foundation in complexity science. Scroll down to the bottom of the LS homepage for links to the LS app available on Google Play and Apple App Store. The LS app (LiSA) has a quick introduction and short descriptions of the 33 “Structures” with brief descriptions of the What-How-Why of each. LS are very useful. Thank you, Ken, for kicking off TCOM-365. Jerome