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A Message From Your President

Doug Reynolds

As the experience of our fantastic conference in San Diego becomes a pleasant memory and another busy year for SIOP gets underway, I’d like to use this opportunity to describe a few of the many activities that are in the works. As we undertake any new project, the guiding principle is the alignment with our strategic goals. These goals were established 6 years ago in an extensive strategic planning session, and they are reviewed every year by the board and committee chairs as we set goals for the year ahead. This session took place again this year, during a productive board meeting that was held on the day after the conference in San Diego. The group confirmed that our strategic goals continue to be high-priority areas for SIOP’s focus and energy. Generally stated, the goals relate to visibility, advocacy, membership, and modeling the integration of science and practice. This year, we have projects planned that touch on each of these goals. The theme across these objectives is about extending SIOP’s influence.

Visibility

Over the past year and a half, SIOP’s Visibility Committee has worked to assemble an important project to examine SIOP’s brand image, a critical lever in our work to advance SIOP’s visibility. The team has identified the lack of a consistent message about what we do as an impediment to our visibility goal. Without a brand message, our efforts to be visible become too diffuse to have the impact we desire. Of course, SIOP members span a very wide range of roles, but I think there are common values and beliefs that bring us together as a profession and can serve as a straightforward statement of our identity. Such a statement should be appropriate to the range of our membership and be a powerful tool to amplify our visibility.

To advance this objective, Chris Rotolo has been appointed to chair a task force to examine SIOP’s brand. Chris is past chair of the Visibility and Electronic Communication committees and has an excellent background for leading the charge. Assisting Chris will be two consultants to the project, Andrea Goldberg and Paul Rubenstein; both are longstanding SIOP members with experience in branding within large organizations. This project is already underway so stay tuned for a few updates.

Advocacy

SIOP members and officers have been hard at work establishing relationships across a range of organizations that can be useful partners in our advocacy efforts. For example, the Society of Human Resource Management, the United Nations, the Alliance for Organizational Psychology, and the Federation of Associations in Brain and Behavioral Sciences have been added to our longstanding relationships with APA and APS as important allies. Each of these organizations has interests that overlap with some of our own. These partnerships are usually born from the passion and efforts of just a few of our members—those who are close enough to these organizations to see the advantages of working together to advance a common agenda. We need to nurture and strengthen these partnerships even as our committee chairs and leaders rotate (a frequent event under our governance model), so our future leaders will have the same foundation for understanding the value and the groundwork that has come before them. The newly formed External Relations Committee will be working this year to prioritize these partnerships, to define our strategic objectives for each relationship, and to document the approach for each. This process should facilitate involvement across our membership from those who know the most about our partners.

Membership

Our strategic goal in this area states that SIOP should be the “organization of choice for I-O professionals.” Recent analyses of our membership composition show that we have a very healthy pipeline of Student Affiliates (3,923 was the most recent count), and our students, as a group, tend to be from more diverse backgrounds than our regular members. This is good news for the health, diversity, and strength of our organization but only if we are able to successfully nurture our student affiliates into membership as they complete their degrees. To examine the issue more closely, Juan Madera, our newly appointed chair of the Committee on Ethnic and Minority Affairs, will lead a special topic task force to examine the conversion rates for our student affiliates, with an emphasis on those from diverse backgrounds. Juan’s team will bring recommendations back to the Executive Board for how we can best facilitate the transition from Student Affiliate into membership. This work began under Past-President Adrienne Colella, and she will also continue to be closely involved in this initiative as the team makes progress.

An additional membership objective this year involves expanding our revenue sources. We are very fortunate to be in strong financial health, but most of our yearly budget is funded from just one source, our annual conference. This situation puts limits on our financial growth and adds risk to our budget. We can reduce this risk, and accomplish more for our members, if we can develop additional revenue streams for SIOP. Examples may include broadening our reach with our publications and expanding the audience for key events such as the Leading Edge Consortium. This objective will likely be a multiyear effort, and it was reflected in the goals of our new president-elect, Tammy Allen. Our work this year will help pave the way for her initiative in this area as her term begins next April.

Science–Practice Integration

The last objective I will touch on crosses several of our strategic goals but seems to fit best as an example of the impact we can have when our science and practice work in concert. My observation is that the amount of effort by SIOP members on projects focused on public interest issues has increased in recent years. To get some data behind this perception, we included a question to our last member survey that inquired about how many of us have participated in projects for charitable, humanitarian, or public interest causes in the past 2 years. It turns out that 25% of us do. My objective is to encourage more efforts of this nature by creating tools and processes to support projects for public interest. We already have one step in place, and that’s the introduction of the online collaboration platform, my.SIOP. Using this tool, we can solicit volunteers, share learning and insights, and report results to help others who have similar projects.

These projects have the advantage of bringing together members across a variety of employment settings to accomplish important social goals. Furthermore, these projects provide an excellent basis for increasing the visibility of the field.

Other Society Activities and News

A number of other projects and issues were addressed at the most recent Executive Board meeting; watch for more information in the future as several new initiatives take shape. Included among these are several new member benefits, upcoming events, and policy endorsements that will help shape our influence.

My.SIOP. This new online member community is now up and running. All Members, Associates, and Affiliates have been preloaded into the system, but you need to fill out a short profile to finish the process. If you have not yet completed your profile on my.SIOP, please do it today. We already have several hundred active participants, and this platform is intended to be the place for coordination of SIOP activities ranging from committee projects, to special interest projects, to research collaborations, and alumni groups. The platform is secure, run by the SIOP Administrative Office, and provides a great way to connect to other I-O professionals. Instructions for getting started are located at my.SIOP.org, and more information is included in this issue of TIP (see Zachary Horn’s article).

Research Access Service. Another new benefit for SIOP members was implemented this past year that provides access to a wealth of journals (literally 1000s of titles) as well as to SIOP’s own Learning Center (including content from past conferences and leading edge consortia). This new service is ideal for any SIOP member who needs online access to published research and content from our conferences. All SIOP members are encouraged to check out these resources at SIOP.org/SRA.

Career Study of I-O Psychology. The SIOP Executive Board has also recently given the green light to a study of the professional roles of I-O psychologists. This career study will provide much needed data for describing the various roles and activities that people with an I-O education engage in across a variety of work settings. The information generated from the study will be used to inform education and training guidelines, career development frameworks, and licensure requirements, among other purposes.

2012–2013 Conferences. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to start planning for your attendance at the 2012 Leading Edge Consortium (October 19–20), which will be held at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans. This year’s topic is environmental sustainability at work. The session will focus on both research and practice in this important area for our influence; the topic provides an excellent example of how we are continuing to expand the range of dependent variables we consider in our work.

Planning for our annual conference in 2013 is now in full swing. The event will be held in Houston this year (April 11–13), and it’s time to start planning your proposals for this grand event. It’s our first time in Houston and the venue includes state-of-the-art meeting space for large groups such as ours; you won’t want to miss this one.

Social policy statements. SIOP’s new NGO status in the United Nations provides us with the opportunity to influence policies in areas related to our research and practice. Our first step in this arena involved the approval of a joint statement (with the International Association of Applied Psychology) to the United Nations urging the prevention of worker exploitation in developing countries. The statement cites I-O research demonstrating the importance of decent work for climbing out of poverty.

Also this spring, the Executive Board approved a statement opposing workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and resolving to take a leadership role in the promotion of societal attitudes and behaviors that affirm the dignity and rights, within organizational settings, of all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees. Work is underway within SIOP’s LGBT taskforce to summarize the research related to these issues in a form that can be easily communicated to the public and to develop an approach to promote our point of view on this important issue.

These policies align well with our mission, vision, and expertise and their approval provides a strong basis from which to educate the public about the findings from related research and the role of I-O psychology as an authority on workplace issues.

In Appreciation

Let me end with a brief word of thanks for our SIOP leaders this past year. Several executive committee officers will be rotating off the board this year. I’ve enjoyed working with each one of them for their energy, insight, and devotion to SIOP over the past few years. Special thanks to Mort McPhail (Financial Officer), Lise Saari (Membership Services Officer), Scott Highhouse (Publications Officer), Howard Weiss (APA Representative), and, of course, Eduardo Salas (Past President) for their service to SIOP in these important roles. Fortunately Adrienne Colella remains on the board as past-president, but she also deserves appreciation for her great work as president.

Our committee chairs have been equally as devoted and often carry the bulk of the load when it comes to orchestrating the many volunteer-driven activities that make SIOP so great. Committee chairs concluding their roles this year include Karin Orvis (Program–APA), Shawn Burke (Program–APS), Deborah Rupp (Program–SIOP), Lisa Finkelstein (SIOP Conference Chair), Cynthia McCauley (Editor IOP Journal), Chris Rotolo (Electronic Communications), Alexis Fink (Visibility), Kizzy Parks (Committee of Ethnic and Minority Affairs), Wally Borman (Fellowship), Paul Levy (Historian), Kimberly Smith-Jentsch (Membership), Mikki Hebl (Education and Training), Rich Cober (Professional Practice), Linda Shanock (Doctoral Consortium), and Tammy Allen (Scientific Affairs).

Another wave of strong leaders stands ready to fill the big shoes of those listed above. I’m feeling grateful and lucky to be joined this year by new board members Allan Church (Publications Officer), Eric Heggestad (Membership Services Officer), John Scott (APA Representative), Kathleen Kappy Lundquist (Financial Officer), and Tammy Allen (President-Elect). New committee chairs include Shonna Waters (APA Program), Susanne Bell (APS program), Eden King (SIOP Program), Robin Cohen (SIOP Conference), Mark Frame (Consortia), Juan Madera (Committee on Ethnic & Minority Affairs), Kevin Murphy (Editor IOP Journal), Zack Horn (Electronics Communication), Carl Persing (Visibility), Jerry Hedge (Fellowship), Kevin Mahoney (Historian), Mo Wang (Membership), Tracy Kantrowitz (Professional Practice), Scott Tonidandel (Educational and Training), Tracey Rizzuto (Doctoral Consortium), and Fred Oswald (Scientific Affairs). Our new Chairs in Training include Autumn Krauss (Program–APA), Reeshad Dalal (Program–APS), Evan Sinar (Program–SIOP), Erica Desrosiers (Workshops), and David Baker (Awards).

SIOP runs on the strength and energy of our volunteers. Please consider how you’d like to be involved with these or other SIOP projects throughout the coming year. Volunteering for projects and committees is an easy process and can be completed on the SIOP.org website.
Enjoy your summer!