Good Governance Project
moves into its next phase
APA’s Good Governance Project (GGP) marked a milestone in February
when the association’s Council of Representatives received the team’s report
of its assessment and approved moving forward with the next phase of the
project: developing specific proposals to address the needs identified.
GGP, which grew out of APA’s Strategic Plan, seeks to maximize
organizational effectiveness by assuring that APA’s governance practices,
processes and structures are optimized and aligned with what is needed to
thrive in a rapidly changing and increasingly complex environment. The
GGP team, chaired by Sandy Shullman, PhD, was given the task of soliciting
input from stakeholders to fully understand the current status of APA
governance. The assessment identified seven major areas for change:
Strengthening APA’s strategic focus: Align efforts and initiatives of APA
governance with the strategic plan.
Enhancing communications: Improve effective communication to and
from members and among APA’s organizational elements.
Assessing structure and representation: Determine appropriate
structure(s) and relationships of governance, including how member
segments are represented and where/how representation is needed.
Reviewing governance processes and functions: Review how the council
and other governance bodies operate, the kinds of issues they focus on, and
the processes they use both to carry out the business of governance and to
communicate efficiently between and among elements of governance.
Clarifying roles and accountability: Identify the appropriate roles,
responsibilities and relationships of key governance components (the council,
board of directors, boards and committees), and explore how accountability for
fulfilling those roles might be assessed and defined to maximize effectiveness.
Determine who is engaged in governance and how: Suggest ways for
members to join governance and clarify the distinctions among voice, vote
and engagement. This includes maximizing engagement of all communities
to ensure aligning the strategic plan with the future of psychology.
Understanding APA culture: Identify potential changes to APA’s
governance culture needed to achieve an optimal governance system.
The GGP team recommended to council that the seven areas not be tackled
all at once, but that the first step should be changes that are process-focused
rather than structural: strategic alignment; role clarification and accountability;
governance process and function. Based on the council feedback, the team
is exploring solutions to these issues, such as better use of technology,
streamlining the council’s agenda, triaging issues to focus on more important
ones, increasing the speed of decision-making, defining roles of governance
elements and aligning the council’s work with APA’s strategic plan.
If you would like to comment on the work of the GGP, contact Nancy
Gordon Moore, PhD, MBA, executive director of governance affairs
( email@example.com). For more information, including a copy of the GGP
report and the technology backgrounder, go to the GGP section of APA’s
website at www.apa.org/about/governance/good-governance.
ADHD book for kids
When Patricia Quinn, MD, and Judy Stern first
published “Putting on the Brakes: Understanding
and Taking Control of Your ADD or ADHD”
(Magination Press) 20 years ago, there were no
nonfiction books for children that addressed
attention issues in a straightforward way. Now
Amazon has its own ADHD section, yet “Putting on
the Brakes” remains the go-to resource for doctors
and parents worldwide. The book has sold more
than 150,000 copies and has been translated into
10 languages. A fully updated third edition will be
published this year.
The idea for the book was a natural for Quinn,
a developmental pediatrician in Washington, D.C.,
and Stern, a teacher and educational consultant in
Rockville, Md. “I learned early on that parents don’t
know how to talk to their children about ADHD,
so I started talking to the children themselves,” says
Their goal for “Putting on the Brakes” was to give
children the words and concepts to communicate
their needs and to show readers that there was nothing
“wrong” with them. “We’ve found that kids think
they might be ‘dumb,’ or they may get called lazy by
adults who don’t always understand their issues,” says
Stern. “We tried to deal with their feelings and reassure
them, as well as give them good coping skills.”
The third edition includes an expanded and
updated section on medication and addresses new
treatments, such as meditation, yoga and “green
space” therapy in which children spend time
“The anniversary edition can remind people
of what a valuable resource it was when they were
children, and lets them know it’s still here,” says
Quinn. “It’s been redone and repackaged for a new
generation, so it’s really the most up-to-date book
available for kids and their parents.”