Meet an ATD 2015 Featured Speaker: Marjorie Derven

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Marjorie Derven, an ATD 2015 speaker, answers questions relating to the content of her ATD 2015 session, “Leading Virtual Teams: The New Normal in a Global World.” This is part of the Global HRD Featured Speakers blog series.

What is the title of your presentation?

The session is “Leading Virtual Teams: The New Normal in a Global World” (SU201), which will be held on Sunday from 1:30-2:30 p.m. We will focus on the driving factors behind the increase and importance of virtual teams and practical approaches to make them fully productive. 

Virtual teams are not going away. While they can be challenging, due to time zone issues, language barriers, and the absence of visual cues, they also offer enormous potential to leverage diverse perspectives and skills that otherwise might be missed and increase understanding of cross-cultural business norms.

Why is this topic important for learning and talent development professionals?

Talent development and learning professionals are in the business of enhancing skills and performance, and to do so, we need to evolve and respond to changing organizational dynamics. Virtual teams are increasingly important to achieve organizational goals, and we need to know how to make this happen.

What will be the top three takeaways from your presentation?

Participants who join this session will learn how to:


  1. Diagnose and address the most common challenges facing virtual teams.
  2. Enhance team member communication and trust.
  3. Become the go-to resource for virtual team success.

What is your experience with the ATD International Conference & Exposition?

I have enjoyed being a frequent speaker at ATD’s International Conference & Exposition, often co-presenting with external clients on topics that include employee engagement and global leadership development. As a past chair of the T+D editorial board, I have had a long relationship with this premier learning and talent development organization. I am particularly excited about the increasingly global attendance at the annual conference, which adds a richness to the experience overall of shared learning.

What do you expect to get out of ATD’s 2015 International Conference & Exposition?

Get refreshed, recharge, connect with old friends, and make some new ones!

What are some suggestions you have for attendees to get the most out of their experience at ATD 2015?

There is such a vast array of topics and learning tracks that the conference can be overwhelming. Realize that you have to prioritize your time—select a range of sessions so that your participation includes:

  1. content directly relevant to your current role that you will apply immediately
  2. topics that focus on important and emerging trends—such as globalization, technology, innovation, and social learning—that will likely shape the work you do going forward
  3. exploring some new areas that you know virtually nothing about as a way to step out of your comfort zone.

Finally, have fun and wear comfortable shoes!


About the Author
Marjorie Derven, a director at Valeocon Management Consulting, has worked with many leading organizations to design D&I strategies and initiatives that integrate organizational effectiveness, change management, and learning to create solutions that drive meaningful change.

She formerly served as chair for TD Editorial Board and as a Senior Fellow at The Conference Board in the human capital practice. With 20+ years of consulting experience with top-tier companies across multiple industries, her areas of expertise include emotional intelligence, diversity and inclusion, global leadership development, talent management, and organizational research. Marjorie has published dozens of articles and is a frequent presenter at global conferences. For more information, contact
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