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Amber Stark

Virtual Leading Edge Consortium a Success

After a year off in 2020 and then a major restructuring to build a new virtual event, the SIOP Leading Edge Consortium returned in 2021 with a bevy of prominent speakers. Led by Consortium Chair Karen Paul, the committee assembled a high-quality leadership development educational program, featuring experts from corporate, consulting, and academic realms.

Six preconsortium workshops, held on September 30 through October 2, set the stage with deep dives into various leadership topics, from agility to team building. In both the large group and in smaller breakouts, participants were encouraged to share ideas, ask questions, and think about their own workplace issues in new ways.

Eight keynote speakers were the highlight of the consortium itself, held October 7 through October 9, with 10 featured speakers and a panel discussion rounding out the agenda. Most sessions were recorded, allowing participants to view the event live or on-demand from anywhere in the world. The diverse speakers presented from the east to west coasts and even from Austria, Italy, and Denmark.

This truly global event was possible thanks to the virtual format. With sessions held in Zoom and facilitated through the Whova app, attendees experienced the interaction for which the LEC is known.

Social events were made available on Friday and Saturday. Friday evening featured a speed networking event. Breakout sessions were held in which small groups of participants discussed leadership issues, including what they were doing personally in the area of leadership development.

Saturday closed with an interesting and fun event: What Wine Can Teach Us About Leadership Development. Wine maker Russell Bevan and I-O Psychologist David Peterson led the participants through the tasting of four intriguing red wines. While Bevan highlighted the intricacies of each wine, Peterson paired those qualities with those of leadership.

“This LEC was just beyond successful,” explained SIOP President Steven Rogelberg. “It was such a fantastic and positively impactful event for our members.“

SIOP Member Alison Mallard, who has attended several consortia, said “The conference was fantastic– it well exceeded my expectations. It meant so much to see great speakers on such important topics – AND get much needed CE credit.”

Planning for the 2022 Leading Edge Consortium is already underway. More details about the event will be shared in late spring/early summer.

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