SIOP “Take Aways”

It was great to attend the SIOP (Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology) conference in Chicago last week.  It’s wonderful to connect with professionals in the industry, and see how others currently view technology and the 360 process.  Here are some of my ‘take aways’:

1.  On 360s, customers want technology that is scalable, secure, consistent over different mediums (smart phones, iPads, PCs and Macs) and relevant (it needs to solve problems).  The industry needs to continue with research to understand differences in different global regions – are differences in results due to culture, the assessment, the people or the process?

2. During one session I heard about a concept called Kaleidoscopic thinking. Trying to do justice to the definition, I went to Google, and found this:

KALEIDOSCOPE THINKING: “Leaders need to develop ‘Kaleidoscope Thinking’ – a way of constructing patterns from the fragments of data available, and then manipulating them to form different patterns. They must question their assumptions about how pieces of the organization, the marketplace, or the community fit together. Change leaders remember that there are many solutions to a problem and that by looking through a different lens somebody is going to invent a new way of doing things.”
Rosabeth Moss Kanter – The Enduring Skills of Change Leaders

3. Peter Senge wrote a seminal book about systems thinking, The Fifth Discipline; Senge explains “Mental models are deeply ingrained assumptions, generalizations, or even pictures or images that influence how we understand the world and how we take action.”

In one of the closing sessions, John Boudreau from the Marshall School of Business at USC talked about these Mental Models, and explained that from an HR/OD perspective, our task is not to try and talk leaders into a process or program from our perspective of why it’s ‘right’, but to take into consideration their mental model and ‘sell’ our programs from their perspective.  Find a metaphor that leaders already understand.

4. Companies are using social media to find candidates, to create an employment brand, to gather information from customers and for peer-to-peer sharing.  In one research study, 77% of recruiters Google candidates, and 33% eliminate candidates on ‘digital dirt’.  This may turn into legal or ethical issues: do you penalize people who use social network sites because you are able to view information online?  Can you make assumptions about on the job behavior from a Facebook page?

5.  And lastly, remember that “The Internet doesn’t care”, and “Never put anything online that you wouldn’t want your mother to see”.