Co-creating APA's Future

APA members

APA's new strategic plan is under development: Stay updated — and add your voice.

I am pleased to launch this webpage to keep you updated on APA’s work toward developing a new strategic plan. Once completed, the plan will provide a roadmap to guide and prioritize the work of the organization for the next five to seven years. We will keep you informed and involve you as we move through this process. I am looking forward to seeing what we create together. — Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD, APA CEO

As new reports on the development of APA's strategic plan are released, they'll be added below on this page, with the most recent report appearling first.



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Update: Complete Our Member Survey, Weigh In at Convention

Posted Aug. 6, 2018

Over the last several months, I have been so impressed by the tremendous level of member involvement in co-creating a new strategic plan for our organization. I am grateful for your engagement ― and eager to hear from even more members.

In the coming weeks, we are offering additional ways for you to include your voice and perspective in the growing conversation about APA's future, including a survey and in-person meetings during APA’s 2018 convention.

Member Survey

We distributed a strategic plan survey to all 115,700 APA members this week (July 31). Look for an email with a personalized link to the survey where you can share your ideas, priorities and hopes for our collective future. We estimate it will take less than 10 minutes to complete. For those of you attending the convention, you will also have the option of completing this survey at interactive kiosks located throughout the event space.

If you do not have an email address on file with APA, look for a letter from me with a print out of the survey; simply complete and return it to us using the envelope provided.

Focus Groups

Thousands of APA members are preparing to convene for four days in August in San Francisco to connect, engage and learn during our annual convention. And we are preparing, too ― to listen to your ideas and feedback.

We are recruiting participants for a series of two-hour focus group sessions on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (Aug. 9-11) during the event. Check your inbox for an email with the subject line, “Co-create APA’s Future ― San Francisco Focus Groups,” for details. Limited spots are available, so reserve your space today.

Conversation Hours

Also scheduled during APA’s 2018 convention are a series of informal conversation hours for early career psychologists, graduate students and others. Drop in for an exchange of ideas about APA’s future with APA’s David W. Ballard, PsyD, MBA, assistant executive director for Organizational Excellence and Ian D. King, MBA, executive director, Membership. See here for dates, times and locations

Not going to convention? We strongly encourage you to complete the online survey and feel free to submit additional comments to strategicplan@apa.org. A new vision takes all of us, and we want to hear from you.

Check back here for regular strategic plan updates and direct any questions to strategicplan@apa.org.

Let's keep moving APA forward.

Note: The information in this post provides a snapshot, as of the publication date, of some of the most recent work underway on APA's strategic plan. This post is not meant to be a comprehensive account of this work, but rather to provide insight into some of the top-level themes that are emerging during conversations with members, including governance leaders. Your input is always welcome at strategicplan@apa.org.


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Update: Emerging Themes Focus on Purpose, Action

Posted July 12, 2018

APA is made up of people who dream big and lead the discipline and profession of psychology. This is evident as we hear from the APA community during the current data gathering phase of our strategic planning process. From leadership conversations to focus groups, we see engagement around our organization's purpose, direction and action.

It is inspiring to see the range of powerful themes that have emerged so far as potentially important to the future strategic directions of APA. These themes include, but are not limited to:

  • Ensuring that APA activities share a core commitment to science and scientific principles.
  • Highlighting the role and significant impacts of general and applied psychology.  
  • Championing diversity.
  • Promoting ethics and social justice.
  • Supporting graduate students and early career psychologists.
  • Reinforcing APA's commitment to the practice community.
  • Building the education pipeline.

Our data gathering and discovery activities are also externally focused. We are scanning the market to better understand emerging issues, trends, best practices, business models, product and service offerings, value propositions and pricing of relevant organizations. This will enable us to surface new ideas and critical trends for APA.

As always, we invite your participation in the strategic planning process. Watch for the full membership survey that will be launched this summer along with opportunities to participate in focus groups and interviews. Please send your ideas and feedback by email anytime to strategicplan@apa.org.

The information in this post provides a snapshot, as of the publication date, of some of the most recent work underway on APA's strategic plan. This post is not meant to be a comprehensive account of this work, but rather to provide insight into some of the top-level themes that are emerging during conversations with members, including governance leaders. Your input is always welcome at strategicplan@apa.org



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Seeking Your Input on Increasing Public Awareness and Understanding of Psychology

Posted June 21, 2018


By APA CEO Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD

Your perspective is vital as we co-create the APA's strategic plan. To that end, we would like to introduce another way for you to add your ideas and thoughts as we work through the process of transforming our organization.

Periodically, we would like to invite your input on a question related to our future. Today, we are interested in your thoughts on the following question: 

How can APA best increase public awareness and understanding of the breadth of psychology?

Please send your thoughts and ideas directly to strategicplan@apa.org. We will share a summary of your responses in the coming weeks.

We appreciate your active engagement.

Send Us Your Comments

 



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Board of Directors’ Spring Retreat

Posted June 7, 2018


The Board of Directors gathered at APA Headquarters in late April for the first of their two annual retreats. Members met with APA staff and the external strategic consultants about the strategic plan. 

Over the course of the session, the board participated in an exercise where they identified major challenges and opportunities facing APA, the field, and the discipline. This is part of an ongoing series of discussions about APA’s future that the board will be having during the strategic planning process. In this particular conversation, the board arrived at five overarching areas to consider in the further development of the strategic plan:

Expanding APA’s Advocacy and Influence

The expansion of APA’s advocacy efforts and overall legislative influence surfaced as both a prime opportunity and a serious challenge over the next five years. The group identified a number of specific sub-areas, including increasing influence on public policy and laws, garnering increased funding for basic and applied research, and amplifying the voice of psychology and psychologists on critical social issues.

Solving Public Health and Social Issues

Psychology has a critical role to play in solving public health and social issues. In particular, increasing access to affordable mental health care to improve the health and well-being of individuals, families, organizations, and communities is of high importance to the organization. Additionally, APA needs to be strategically focused on identifying important social issues and developing broad solutions based on psychological science.

Representing Psychology Across Disciplines

Psychological science continues to play an increasingly prevalent and influential role across a range of disciplines. For example, psychology’s principles and research can and should be applied to areas including artificial intelligence, technology and technological innovation, and big data. Psychology should have a seat at the table and be an active participant in all major efforts to address these topics.

Fostering Psychology as a Global Discipline

APA should expand its efforts to build meaningful international collaborations and help its partners develop systems and activities that reflect the unique cultures they serve. Success in this area will reinforce and expand our influence, impact, reach, and membership and strengthen the knowledge base regarding diversity and cultural implications for psychology research and practice.

Promoting and Expanding Outward-Facing Efforts

An increased focus on and the successful promotion and expansion of outward-facing efforts will not only improve the brand equity of APA, but also expand the field and discipline of psychology in a meaningful way by increasing public awareness and understanding of psychology. These efforts can be fueled by partnerships with other national organizations that have shared interests and related missions, as well as investing in and growing APA’s efforts in K-12 education, increasing public knowledge of mental and behavioral health, and ultimately expanding interest and participation in the field of psychology.

In the coming weeks, members of council, boards, committees, divisions, state leaders and the general membership, as well as APA staff, will have multiple opportunities to provide insights. We will keep you informed as this effort moves forward.

What do you think should be the priorities of the association going forward? Send your comments to strategicplan@apa.org.

Note: The information in this post provides a snapshot, as of the publication date, of some of the most recent work underway on APA's strategic plan. This post is not meant to be a comprehensive account of this work, but rather to provide insight into some of the top-level themes that are emerging during conversations with members, including governance leaders. Your input is always welcome at strategicplan@apa.org.



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Spring Consolidated Meetings

Posted May 31, 2018


When the 283 volunteer leaders from many of APA’s boards and committees gathered for their Spring Consolidated Meetings, one of the first items on the agenda was to conduct an initial visioning exercise for the strategic planning process. 

The question posed to the group was simple: If APA were to appear on the front page of The New York Times 10 years from now, what would you want the headline to say? 

Leaders at the meeting worked with those at their tables to craft an answer, and the conversations were fascinating. Participants from each table group discussed an impressive collection of thoughtful, insightful and visionary ideas, which will provide excellent grounding for the strategic planning work that lies ahead. Here is the report from the consultants about what they heard. 

Several primary themes emerged during the session:

Increasing the Influence and Leadership of Psychology and the APA

Many governance leaders said that as an organization, APA needs to focus on ensuring that psychologists are well represented in leadership roles in government (e.g., cabinet level, federal/state/local legislative bodies and agencies), industry (e.g., corporate and nonprofit leadership, boards of directors, industry groups), health care (e.g. health systems, insurers) and educational institutions.

Improving Mental and Behavioral Health

A number of people at the tables said that APA should play an important role in the future of public mental and behavioral health. Some noted that APA can be a powerful player in an effort to mend and strengthen communities by bringing behavioral health issues to the forefront (e.g., help bring an end to the opioid crisis), securing universal access to mental health services and eradicating the stigma associated with mental health issues.

Building and Expanding our Advocacy Efforts

Advocacy objectives that leadership participants identified as important include: 

  • Increasing payment and reimbursement rates for psychological services.
  • Increasing the overall advocacy budget to grow APA’s influence.
  • Working to increase the funding for basic and applied psychological research.

Additional Themes

A range of other broad themes surfaced during the conversations, including expanding and increasing the diversity of the membership, increasing the diversity of APA leadership, increasing APA’s global psychology leadership, promoting psychology as a discipline and expanding APA’s impact on technology.

Despite the variety in ideas discussed, the “headlines” the tables came up with shared a common thread: Almost all envisioned APA as a transformational change agent with a leadership role in improving the well-being of society.

What is your answer to this question and why? If APA were to appear on the front page of The New York Times 10 years from now, what would you want the headline to say? Email us at strategicplan@apa.org and let us know.

Note: The information in this post provides a snapshot, as of the publication date, of some of the most recent work underway on APA's strategic plan. This post is not meant to be a comprehensive account of this work, but rather to provide insight into some of the top-level themes that are emerging during conversations with members, including governance leaders. Your input is always welcome at strategicplan@apa.org.



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Co-creating APA's Future

Posted May 16, 2018


The work is beginning to co-create APA’s next strategic plan — a 5- to 7-year roadmap to guide the association’s actions and define our contributions to psychology and society. APA's first strategic plan was developed in 2011. When I came on board as CEO in 2017, the Board of Directors charged me with leading the process to develop a new strategic plan and presenting that plan to APA's Council of Representatives for approval. 

As APA’s CEO, I view this undertaking as a unique opportunity for us to shape the way we serve our members, deliver programs that benefit society and improve people’s lives, and advocate for the field and the discipline. To ensure we get the best result, we need everyone’s voice.

Goals

My goals for the development of this plan are that it will be:
  • Engaging: Offering the opportunity for every member, leader and employee of the association to provide comments and share their vision for APA.
  • Transparent: Ensuring regular updates are provided to all through this web page, in newsletters, on mailing lists and in other communications.
  • Aspirational: Tapping into goals that will move us forward and capitalize on APA's full potential.
  • Actionable: Ensuring that we will have the biggest impact. 

Timeline

The timeline for the development of the new strategic plan includes data gathering with feedback to APA’s Council of Representatives in August, followed by synthesis, plan development and sharing the results.
  • Phase one: Data gathering. Over the coming months you will have numerous opportunities to offer your perspective, from surveys, to focus groups, to many opportunities to offer comments and feedback online. My goal is to ensure that your ideas are captured, considered and applied in the development of the plan. The target date to accomplish this piece of the plan is August 2018.
  • Phase two: Synthesis. The second phase will involve a synthesis of the input offered, and a feedback loop to the members, governance and staff to share what was heard and see what still might need to be captured. The target date to accomplish this piece of the plan is October 2018.
  • Phase three: Plan development. The third phase will take all the input and data gathered and use this information to craft the strategic goals and objectives. This phase will also involve a draft implementation plan, including metrics, to focus on whether the aspirations we have developed can be made actionable. The target date to accomplish this piece of the plan is early December 2018.
  • Phase four: Sharing the result. The last phase of plan development will share the draft plan with members, leadership and staff, using tools like webinars and this website, as well as presentations and conversations at convenings like the December 2018 Board meeting. This piece of the plan will culminate in early February 2019 with a presentation at the Council of Representatives meeting, where Council will vote on whether to adopt the plan.

Team 

Co-creating a vision means starting with our members and leadership and working with a highly successful consultant and a handful of expert staff to facilitate the process. 

  • Staff leads: The process of developing the strategic plan is being co-led by David Ballard, PsyD, MBA, director of APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence, and Ian King, MBA, executive director of membership.
  • Consultant: APA has retained Sequence Consulting, which specializes in working with associations. Sequence has helped leading organizations, such as the American Medical Association, American Chemical Society, American Bar Association and AARP, achieve transformational change. 

Co-creating a vision will, by definition, take all of us. I look forward to working together with you all to move APA forward.