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The Brand Called ‘We’

4/30/2014-

by Kendra Clark, for SIOP

Microsoft’s Geoffrey Colon to Discuss Technology’s Effect on the Workplace and I-O Psychologists’ Personal Brands During SIOP Conference Closing Keynote Address

To say that technology has changed our world would be an understatement. Its influence is so great that technology has created a virtual office for employees wherever they go.

Keynote speaker Geoffrey Colon will discuss how technology has affected work—and how it affects I-O psychologists— during the closing plenary session Saturday, May 17 at the 29th Annual SIOP Conference in Honolulu.

Colon is Group Marketing manager at Microsoft and has engaged in emerging media since the advent of Napster in 1998. He is a master of big data and uses analytics to plan content creation and distribution. He has worked with such impressive clients as IBM, Spotify, Netflix, Red Bull, Coca-Cola, Lysol, Smirnoff, The Economist, Food Network, and History Channel.

During his speech, tentatively titled, “The Brand Called ‘We’,” Colon will dissect the influence technology has over the workplace and discuss how I-O psychologists can brand themselves as experts in solving workplace issues created by this changing technology landscape.

“I-O psychology is a field that I feel is an emerging necessity,” he said. “I hope my speech is a kick off for psychologists to tell their own story where they can create a ripple that can positively affect the discipline. We need to rise to a higher level, communicate, and form relationships with others.”

Colon said one very important piece of technology is the mobile phone. It is the tool responsible for bringing personal and professional lives together, creating a virtual office for employees.

He has watched three generations come into the workplace. The first generation had to be in the office because that was where the phone was, he said. The second generation had to be in the office because that was where the Internet and phone were. Now, the third generation doesn’t even need to be in the office anymore with their smartphones.

“I lived in a first wave where we had two different lives: professional and personal,” he said. “The lines are now being blurred with emerging media and technology where we can use our own personal Twitter account and Facebook to do professional work and make connections both personal and professional.”

I-O psychologists are affected by this change as well, Colon explained. Employers and organizations are looking for solutions to new problems presented by technology growth, and they need to know how to find the right person for the job.

“Employers will be asking ‘How do we utilize having connections and mobile phones 24/7?’” he said. “It’s huge that this is moving so fast. When you think of questions like, ‘How do we hire and engage workers?’ I-O psychologists might have the answers.”

But first, employers need to know how to find I-O psychologists, and that is where branding and marketing come into play.

 “The labels we put on ourselves are important because they help others find people that have the knowledge they need. I-O psychology is a niche field where people know each other and what they do. But there are employers looking for solutions to problems who are not as familiar with I-O psychology,” he said. “They need those labels on I-O psychologists and their knowledge in order to help them find professionals who can help them solve their workplace problems.”

Even those in academia should be working on their personal brand, Colon explained.

“Just because you are an academic doesn’t mean you don’t market yourself,” he said. “Your writing and research are marketing, too.”

Listen to Geoffrey Colon’s full closing keynote
address 3:30pm Saturday, May 17 in Ballroom A
at the Hawaii Convention Center!