It’s a Wrap! ATD ICE 2017: It’s All About Connections with Chris Coladonato


Conferences are about building connections, and ATD ICE 2017 was no exception! 


Whew, it’s been a busy few weeks since ATD ICE 2017 (here’s my wrap-up post) and I think Chris’s guest post here is even more relevant now that the dust has had a chance to settle. I’m STILL trying to play “connection keep up”! Here is Chris Coladonato, Learning Consultant with Farmers Insurance – with her wrap up thoughts about ATD ICE and connections.

Read to the bottom for this month’s book giveaway. It’s going to be a creative summer! 

How do you sum up a conference as large as ATD 2017?  With so many sessions, vendors, chance meetings…where do you even begin?  I decided to go back to what I was hoping to get out of the conference – CONNECTIONS.

For me, conferences are all about connections – to ideas, people, vendors, products, ways of working and more! ATD 2017 did not disappoint!  I was able to connect with friends that I haven’t seen in a year, make new connections, meet some of my personal learning network in real life for the first time, make business connections, connect new ideas with existing knowledge and more!

With that in mind, here are my top 3 connection moments from ATD 2017:

  • Connection with remote employees. As a remote employee in a corporate environment, I’m always looking for ways to help myself and other remote employees stay connected and be effective employees/teams. The session on Conflict Resolution in the Virtual Workplace facilitated by Trina Hoefling and Kathy Kacher reminded me that key to working effectively with a virtual team is to stay connected.  What does that mean?
    • Use webcams to share non-verbal cues
    • Proactively connect with remote employees – don’t wait for them to come to you
    • Agree on communication methods to stay connected


  • Connecting employees with each other, ideas, resources and learning. There were many sessions about this topic throughout the conference. Two sessions where this resonated for me was at JD Dillon’s session: Go Viral! Motivating Your Employees to Share Their Knowledge and David Kelly’s session: How to Curate: Putting Curation into Practice for L&D Our role in Talent Development is shifting and is no longer just about creating and facilitating content.  It’s also about helping those we support to engage with each other, leverage their shared knowledge, organizing and contextualizing content that is already out there.  We can be the connector for them and/or help set up the opportunities to connect. It’s not about us controlling the connections, but creating the environment for them to thrive.


  • Connecting with the business. One thing that I heard both on the expo floor and throughout various sessions was about understanding and staying connected to the business.  As talent development professionals, it is vital that we stay connected to the business in which we work.  We need to understand the business including their goals, priorities and pain points.  If we are not aware of the business we are supporting, how can we truly be effective?  How will we be able to effectively consult and recommend the RIGHT solution?  How will we know if our efforts are making a real impact?


While those were my top three “connection” themes from the conference, I didn’t mention one of the most important – the connections that we, as attendees, made throughout the conference.  If you attended either live or via backchannel, what connections did you make at ATD 2017?  To people, ideas and products/vendors?  What actions will you take so those connections don’t die on the vine?   Haven’t thought about it yet?  I’d encourage you to take a moment (or two) to reflect on the connections you made at ATD 2017, make a plan for how you will leverage those connections and then…..Take Action! 

June Book Giveaway!

The Creative Book Bundle!

I love Austin Kleon. He inspires me to think outside of the box, to color outside the lines, to take the road less traveled and all those other cliches. Considering that we just came off the largest L&D conference, and some of you may just be coming from the FocusOn conference sponsored by the elearning Guild – it’s time to take those creative thoughts and DO SOMETHING with them! Enter now to win not one, but two of Austin Kleon’s books – “Steal Like an Artist” and the How to Steal Like an Artist Journal. You won’t regret it.

The Creative Book Bundle!

Shannon Tipton

Shannon Tipton

As Owner of Learning Rebels, Shannon Tipton is a skilled learning strategist, content developer and International speaker. Shannon has over 20 years of leadership experience developing successful learning strategies and infrastructures for training departments within organizations in North America, Europe and Korea.

Shannon works with people and organizations to develop learning solutions that brings actual business results. Recognized as bringing real-world expertise into the learning field, Shannon integrates technologies and social learning tools to strengthen workplace alignment, enhance collaboration and increase learning connectivity.

As author of “Disruptive Learning” Shannon frequently speaking at conferences across North America and Europe and ranks as one of the top 100 L&D influencers on Twitter (@stipton).

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