An Occupational Psychologist should play a key role in transitions of ownership and/or leadership
in family owned or closely held enterprises. Yet most advisors who work with families on these sensitive
transitions don’t realize that occupational psychologists should be part of the team of transition
professionals. While these advisers often seek the participation of a clinical or counseling psychologist or
a licensed clinical social worker to address the emotional issues that often emerge among family members
during a transition, to optimize transition outcomes, an occupational psychologist should be engaged to
work directly with the enterprise itself.

The occupational psychologist guides the transition of roles, responsibilities and reporting
structures that emerge during the typical three to five year transition period. The occupational

psychologist uses assessments of individuals and job roles to assure that transition decisions are data-
based decisions. Whenever possible, models of future leadership roles are created, and potential role

occupiers are assessed for both current goodness of fit to the role and the need for development toward
a better fit to the role. The occupational psychologist should not be the ultimate decision maker about
whether a given family member or non-family member is best suited for the role; that decision making
still belongs to the family. But it is the occupational psychologist’s responsibility to see that the family
has as much data as possible relevant to any talent decision the family needs to make, whether that
decision is about selection, promotion, change in responsibilities or termination.

Identifying an occupational psychologist to work as part of the transition team is not as easy as it
might appear. Although state licensing is essential for a clinical or counseling psychologist, states vary
widely on their credentialing of occupational psychologists. I’m licensed in the State of Florida and
previously was licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. But many states restrict the licensing of
psychologists to only those individuals who in engage in healthcare specialties.

Professional membership may be a better guide for identifying an occupational psychologist.
Typically they would be a member of the American Psychological Association and identify as a Consulting
Psychologist (Division 13, Consulting Psychology) or as an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist (Division
14, Society of Industrial/Organizational Psychology, SIOP). If they were at the top of their profession, they
likely would belong to the Society of Psychologists in Management, SPIM. I’m a member of both Divisions
13 and 14 and have twice been given the honor of being invited to make major presentations to the
annual conference of SPIM.

Now here’s where identifying the occupational psychologist to participate in the family enterprise
ownership and/or leadership transition becomes really challenging: Relatively few occupational
psychologists have had experience with these transitions. It’s important to find one who not only has
transition experience, but also has been invited to continue engaging with the enterprise long after the
transition has been completed. These occupational psychologists continue to assist in talent selection
and development and for larger enterprises may even have built entire talent management data
architectures. All the work they do must be fully compliant with state and Federal Equal Employment
Opportunity Guidelines as well as with the Americans with Disabilities Acts current Guidelines. I’m now
working with the second generation of a family with whom I began doing transition work for their several
enterprises in 1988. And everything that I’ve done during these twenty eight years is fully compliant with
relevant Guidelines.

A number of small colleges offer services to family owned enterprises. The individual who would
actually deliver those services should meet the same standards as those described above for occupational
psychologists.

Once you’ve succeeded in identifying an occupational psychologist with family enterprise
transition experience, ask them about the assessments they would be using to provide the foundation
for the transition decisions. These assessments should have reliability, validity and norm groups relevant to the individuals who need to be assessed as part of the transition process. And of course they should be compliant with the Federal Guidelines described above. Every well-developed assessment has a
Technical Manual; don’t be afraid to ask to review that Manual. You’ll know you’ve found the right
occupational psychologist to participate in the transition if they applaud your interest in wanting to know
as much as possible about the assessments they use to generate data that support decision making
throughout the transition process.

Written by: Leslie H. Krieger, Ph.D., SPHR
President and Consulting Psychologist
Assessment Technologies Group (ATG)

July 3, 2018
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The Importance of a Psychologist in Closely Held Enterprises

An Occupational Psychologist should play a key role in transitions of ownership and/or leadership in family owned or closely held enterprises. Yet most advisors who work with families on these sensitive transitions don’t realize that occupational psychologists should be part of the team of transition professionals. While these advisers often seek the participation of a clinical or counseling psychologist or a licensed clinical social worker to address the emotional issues that often emerge among family members during a transition, to optimize transition outcomes, an occupational psychologist should be engaged to work directly with the enterprise itself. The occupational psychologist guides the transition of roles, responsibilities and reporting structures that emerge during the typical three to five year transition period. The occupational psychologist uses assessments of individuals and job roles to assure that transition decisions are data- based decisions. Whenever possible, models of future leadership roles are created, and potential role occupiers are assessed for both current goodness of fit to the role and the need for development toward a better fit to the role. The occupational psychologist should not be the ultimate decision maker about whether a given family member or non-family member is best suited for the role; that […]
July 3, 2018

BUILDING THE DEALERSHIP TALENT PIPELINE

INTRODUCTION: Contract furniture dealerships face many talent management challenges, but conversations with several dealership leaders and principals indicate that the greatest talent management concerns center on the various stages of building the dealership talent pipeline. Although individual dealerships might differ in the priorities they place on each talent pipeline concern, all agree that four talent pipeline processes are critical for dealership success and sustainability. Those talent pipeline processes are: Selecting the strongest entry-level talent who will stay and grow Developing individual contributors into supervisors and managers Powering sales people to optimize their contribution to revenue Preparing leadership and dealer principal succession Let’s look at each of these critical talent pipeline processes and explore the systems and activities that would optimize its effectiveness. Many of these systems and activities until fairly recently were available only to organizations much larger than the typical dealership. Now with online communications, scalable talent management architectures and expert system databases, even the smallest dealership can afford to access these talent pipeline resources. SELECTING THE STRONGEST ENTRY LEVEL TALENT WHO WILL STAY AND GROW: Sourcing and selecting entry level talent may be the single most important talent pipeline process for a dealership, since the depth of entry […]
July 2, 2018

THE BIZARENESS OF BUSINESS BUZZWORDS: NEXT GENERATION LEADERSHIP

  This week members of the local OD (Organization Development) Network are meeting to talk about “Next Generation Leadership”.  But does anyone really know what next generation leadership is?  The OD Network members may find themselves the members of the Over Dose Network as they try to parse the ambiguity of this phrase.   Does it mean organizations should be led by those who currently are the followers, a situation where the inmates run the asylum?  Or could it mean that each generation requires its own leadership, a situation in which several age-linked cadres of leaders compete for ultimate control?  Hopefully neither of the above absurdities is the real intent of this phrase.  A look at some relevant research may be helpful.   In 1996 the founding event of ATG’s Futures Leaders capability was a gathering of educational leaders from all over the United States who were brought together to create a model of “The 21st Century Educational Leader”.  This model became the driver for the preparation, selection and development of community college leaders across the country.  Then, thirteen years later, these leaders were at the forefront of the reinvention of the community college and the evolution of many of […]
January 24, 2018
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Don’t Take Our Word For It: A Testimony of the Power of Pelocity

I became aware of Pelocity through an inter-office e-mail in the Florida National Guard. It sounded like a great deal and I immediately contacted [them] for a log-in code. I enjoy self-awareness exercises and self-assessments, and believe they are integral to our continued personal and professional development. Pelocity satisfies both of these ends. Even upon first impression, I felt Pelocity was going to be an accurate and richly-detailed assessment of my strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes in relation to future careers. I completed the four assessments quickly, and with ease. My goal was to remain as objective as possible and the results came out rather well. I believe Pelocity was the most effective self-assessment I have taken in years. While I was as objective as possible, Pelocity identified 5-6 careers in my top 25 that I am highly interested in pursuing. One of my goals has been to eventually use my master’s in fine arts to teach creative writing at the college level. Pelocity didn’t just list “various” teaching positions among my careers, it specifically listed graduate and postsecondary teaching positions. Not only did Pelocity offer career suggestions to focus me in a particular direction, it confirmed that I am already well […]