From the CEO

Check out these interesting newspaper headlines:

"First Nobel Prize Awarded in Psychology."

"President Names Secretary of Psychology."

"Psychology Leads the Way to World Peace."

"Psychology is a Key 21st Century Health Profession."

"All Psychologists are Members of APA."

These, unfortunately, are not actual headlines, but they were among those suggested by APA's Council of Representatives as headlines they would like to see in the near future. Creating these headlines was part of an exercise to kick off the process to arrive at the first association-wide strategic plan in our 116-year history.

Why now?

At its February 2007 meeting, the Council of Representatives passed the following resolution:

The CEO of APA will be responsible for an ongoing strategic planning process for the Association. The CEO will be responsible for reporting annually to the APA Council of Representatives and Board of Directors on the status, results, and implications of the strategic planning process.

As the largest organization of psychologists in the world, APA has achieved much success in its history in serving the membership, the discipline and the public. Developing a strategic plan will help us preserve and enhance this success over the next several years by providing a road map to guide and prioritize the work of the organization.

Having a strategic plan is especially important now given the many environmental factors that affect the field of psychology, psychologists and membership organizations in general. These factors include, among others, demographic and generational trends, globalization, changes in health and mental health-care delivery and reimbursement, challenges in the funding of behavioral research and the increase in smaller "niche" organizations. The emergence of these and other factors, along with our desire for APA to be an even more effective organization, make this an opportune time for APA to craft a clearer direction for the future. A strategic plan will assist APA in determining its core purpose and near-term priorities and help us to remain a vibrant and relevant organization.

How will the plan be created?

During 2008, we will collect an extensive array of data to guide the strategic plan. We will conduct electronic surveys, focus groups and interviews to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing APA and the field. With the help of our consultants from McKinley Marketing, these data will be collected from members, governance volunteers and APA staff, and will help us develop the strategic plan's vision and mission statements as well as our goals and objectives. The final strategic plan will ultimately be voted on by the Council and will be in effect for three to five years.

When will the plan be finished?

We expect to present Phase 1 of the plan to APA's Council in August 2008 and February 2009. Phase 1 includes the top-level elements of the plan, such as APA's mission and vision and our goals and objectives. If the Council approves this phase, staff and governance groups will work on Phase 2, which will map out our initiatives, measures and targets for achieving our mission and vision. If all goes well, Phase 2 of the process should be completed by the end of 2009.

This is clearly an exciting and historic time for APA, and I look forward to working with you to create a vibrant future for the association.