It would be fair and entirely accurate to say that, without volunteers, the ABP would not exist. Founded by a group of passionate, enthusiastic and committed business psychology practitioners 15 years ago, the Association operates with only a very small number of paid professionals; the vast majority of the positions being of a voluntary nature. The ABP is heavily dependent upon the time, expertise, knowledge, resources and skills provided by its many volunteers; from full Board Members to the conference, awards and events teams, to speakers, to sponsors, to working group members, to content providers and special advisors. For 15 years the Association has existed thanks to a multitude of people who give their time and expertise for no financial reward.
Of course, volunteering can bring its own rewards, and certainly many of those who have supported the ABP in this way will tell you that it’s enabled them to build their networks, to meet useful industry contacts, that it’s helped them to raise their profile, to learn valuable skills and gain experiences that might be out of reach in a traditional corporate hierarchy. For many it provides a sense of community, teamwork and collaboration and access to peers and mentors who have helped them take their careers to the next step. Feeling that this is not sufficient, however, the ABP’s previous and current Chairs – Clodagh O’Reilly and Steve Apps – have initiated a more formal recognition programme to ensure that our many volunteers feel valued, engaged and motivated.
We kicked this recognition programme off at this year’s conference at Wokefield Park in November, where we offered free training courses and speaker events to a number of those people who have given their time to make the ABP conference a continued success over the years. And the board looked at the contributions of all those who have worked on committees and projects this year to identify those volunteers who had made the most significant difference for, and impact on, the ABP.
So, we are delighted to announce our two new Honorary Members and our two Volunteers of the Year. These four people are being recognised for many different reasons, but all have shown significant commitment to – and passion for – both the Association and our profession. Often, the biggest efforts happen behind the scenes and we would like to say a public and whole-hearted “Thank you” to these individuals – and to the countless others who have given their time over the last 15 years.
Honorary Member – Pauline Grant
The status of Honorary Member, ABP has been awarded to Pauline Grant, in recognition of the significant contribution she has made to the ABP throughout the Association’s lifetime.
Pauline’s career as Business Psychologist spans over 20 years. Her main focus is increasing leadership effectiveness, which includes assisting in making the right appointments and working with individual executives and teams to make fulfilling performance a sustainable reality. She has assessed candidates and coached executives, including at Board level/CEO, across business sectors including construction, oil and gas, publishing, professional services, manufacturing and investment banking. Pauline’s substantial experience includes many international assignments with financial services and fmcg clients. An expert executive coach and facilitator, she encourages creative thinking and looking at situations from new angles. Alongside consulting to corporates, Pauline does pro bono work for VSO and other charities.
Being awarded Lifetime Honorary Membership of the ABP means a lot to Pauline. She was instrumental in getting the Association off the ground as the founding Vice Chair of the ABP 16 years ago. The origins of the ABP predated that by about 10 years, when (along with about 20,000 other psychologists), Pauline attended the conference of the American Psychological Association. The sessions she felt most inspired by – and linked most closely to the work she was doing – were put on by their Division of Consulting Psychology, and it struck Pauline that the BPS didn’t have such a thing. She wrote a letter that was published in The Psychologist seeking others’ interest, but got very limited response. One person who responded, Timothy St Ather, didn’t let the idea lie. He eventually contacted Pauline again and said the time was now right and he had found a much larger number of interested people.
Together they put a proposal to the BPS for a new Division, but were turned down. A group convened at Chartridge to decide what to do, facilitated by Pauline and Nick Georgiades. They established the ABP, set up a Management Board with Brian Baxter as Chair, recruited members and – with Marion Furr as Dean – put on the first Conference just a few months later.
Brian Baxter and Pauline did the keynote presentations for that first conference. Pauline’s was the opening one, co-presented with a client and with the promise of ‘warts and all’. This was important as it reflected the intent of the ABP to be both a professional home and a place to learn together with our clients. Many had wondered how open it was possible – or advisable – to be. After all, this could be regarded as intellectual property being handed over to competitors. However, Pauline – and the core group of Founders – had no concerns about that. Pauline’s experience in Education – and her personal values – led her to believe that sharing skills and experience, giving it away as much as possible, benefits us all. The ABP has sought to preserve this tradition, with many conference attendees seeing those joint practitioner-client led sessions as being the most valuable and inspiring ones, and with the ABP more recently changing its name and focusing on being a more inclusive place, actively encouraging members from the HR, management and L&D communities.
In addition to her contributions as a Founding Member, Pauline has also been a co-editor on both ABP books. Assisted by Uzma Afridi, Juliane Sternemann and Emma Wilson, she has recently produced Business Psychology in Action, which brings together contributions from practitioners on a number of topics – from leadership to safety and risk – which focus on the practical application of psychology to real-life situations and problems. The first book (Business Psychology in Practice) was co-edited by Sarah Lewis and David Thompson.
We feel that the title of Honorary Member (which comes with free membership for life) is one that Pauline well and truly deserves. The Association and its members have much to thank her for!
Honorary Member – Professor Peter Saville
Professor Peter Saville probably needs very little introduction, but you may not know what he’s done to support the Association over the years.
Until very recently, Peter was Chairman of Saville Consulting, having now left to form 10x Psychology ltd. He is a Chartered Psychologist and Chartered Scientist as well as holding numerous other honorary positions. He has been referred to as an ‘assessment guru’ and people may not be aware that his picture hung in the National Portrait Gallery, London, as the first Work Psychologist to be awarded the Centenary Life Time Achievement Award from the British Psychological Society for Distinguished Contributions to Professional Psychology.
Peter founded Saville and Holdsworth Limited (SHL PLC) from his own home, taking it to full flotation on the London Stock Exchange and a value of £240 million. SHL was later subject to a buyout, valuing the brand at some half a billion US dollars. He left the board of SHL to found his second company, Saville Consulting, in 2004, which was acquired by Towers Watson in 2015 at a value of £45 million. Peter was listed as one of the UK’s top Entrepreneurs by Enterprise Magazine in 1988 and voted one of the UK’s top ten psychologists, the only Industrial Psychologist listed. Already a Fellow, in 2012 he was awarded Honorary Fellowship of the British Psychological Society, the highest honour the BPS can bestow, joining an eminent list such as Freud, Jung, Murray, Skinner and Chomsky. The citation states ‘he brought science to the workplace and set the global gold standard in psychometric testing’.
Peter’s consultancy experience includes many assignments for a wide range of organisations, such as the Ministry of Defence, Barclays Bank, Xerox, BMW, Whitbread, Sainsbury, Jaguar, Oxfam, the Royal National Institute of Blind People and British Petroleum. He has acted as a specialist consultant to the United Nations in staff selection and spoken at numerous conferences worldwide including the British Educational Research Association, the American Psychological Association, The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the British Psychological Society, the International Association of Applied Psychology and – of course – the ABP. He was interviewed by ABP Chair Steve Apps during a keynote session at this year’s conference and has previously addressed the conference as a headline speaker. Peter succeeded Professor Philip Vernon as International Consultant Psychologist to Mensa and was Psychometric Test Consultant to Hodder and Stoughton Educational. In 2012 Peter was given Academic Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development, the highest level the CIPD could award. He was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Directors in 2012.
Free lifetime membership and the status of Honorary Member, ABP is awarded to Peter for his significant contribution to both the Association and the profession; for what he brings to the discipline and the reputation of Business Psychology globally. He has recently demonstrated his continued and much valued support for the Association by donating £30,000, which will be used to fund a new graduate awards scheme and will help to develop, recognise and inspire the next generation of Business Psychologists.
Volunteer of the Year – Uzma Afridi
Uzma is a Business Psychologist who is passionate about implementing and effecting positive change in the workplace; she believes that with the right resources and guidance, everyone has the opportunity to fulfil their potential, both for themselves and their employer. Having worked for public and private sectors, she is particularly interested in the role that company culture, team dynamics and leadership play in a successful business environment. She has a background in psychometrics through her work at the Criterion Partnership, having been involved in psychometric development and the design of assessment and development products. She is also a strong advocate for equality and diversity. With a background in HR, Uzma worked for one of the largest advertising agencies and has gone on to provide executive coaching in the media industry via NABS (the National Advertising Benevolent Society).
Uzma has been closely involved with the ABP since 2010. She has been a member of the Conference Committee for no less than 3 years and this year saw her taking a supporting editorial role to Pauling on the new ABP book. She has also found time to contribute to the strategy team, led by Anton Fishman, which is supporting the board in reshaping the ABP’s strategy direction and ensuring that our members have a clear voice in where we are going as an Association.
Uzma has been chosen by the Board as an ABP Volunteer of the Year, due to her demonstrated commitment to – and support for – the ABP during her time as a very active and positive member of the Association. She has given an enormous amount of her personal time, expertise and resources to a range of committees and initiatives – it’s on volunteers like Uzma, who work away in the background, that the ABP relies on and we thank her for her energy, enthusiasm and tireless efforts!
Volunteer of the Year – Julie Ensor
Julie is a Business Psychologist and Psychometrician at Lumina Learning. Her role involves designing, implementing and validating innovative psychometric tools, and most recently has been developing a tool to look at the concept of ‘Emotional Agility’.
Julie has been volunteering for the ABP for the last three years as part of a team of three, headed up by Stewart Desson, who run the local events held in London every month. Her role involves ensuring the smooth running of these events and sourcing fantastic speakers to present to the ABP network on a wide variety of topics. These have included Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic speaking about Entrepreneurship, Rob Briner speaking about Evidence-Based practice in Business Psychology and the recent talk in December from Jonathan Passmore on mastering coaching. She enjoys being part of the hugely friendly and open ABP community and the opportunities it provides to stay connected with the latest thinking in the field of Business Psychology.
Julie has also been chosen by the Board to receive the Volunteer of the Year award. Again, Julie is an example of a volunteer who has supported the ABP in the background over a long period of time, and the success of the London events is undoubtedly, to a large extent, dependent on her continued efforts and commitment. Julie has also entered a submission to the ABP Awards and was invited to speak as a finalist. We are really grateful for her contributions over the years and hope she will continue to be a positive, innovative and passionate contributor in the future.