Solutions, Not “Products”
In the history of Psychological Associates, it has been our philosophy that the most productive way to serve clients is to listen to them and offer tailored solutions that meet their business needs, rather than merely providing piecemeal or ready-made “products.”
In fact, the first time we applied behavioral psychology to business performance was in response to a client looking for help. Psychological Associates (PA) was founded in 1958 by two young psychologists, V.R. Buzzotta, Ph.D., and Robert E. Lefton, Ph.D. They refined a model of behavior that managers and salespeople could use to analyze and improve job performance. In 1965, PA introduced the first-ever behavior-based sales training course in response to a client who wanted “people skills” sales training.
Soon, the two founders’ Dimensional® Model of Behavior™ was also applied to the management side of business. Executives learned a collaborative leadership style, called Q4. Not only did they discover a practical way to manage more effectively, but many of them found it a life-changing skill. After 50 years of use, the Dimensional Model has been validated on the job by countless organizations, and serves as the cornerstone for all of PA’s leadership development efforts.
Leadership training followed for all levels of management. PA pioneered several trademark tools of development, which are today recognized as classic best practices:
- Incorporating an executive’s own on-the-job experience to make workshop learning real
- Using questioning techniques designed to uncover people’s needs
- Role-playing a business conversation to apply newly learned skills and insights
- Developing greater self-awareness through feedback from teammates in the workshop
- Preparing a plan of action to resolve the real-life case when returning to work.
Expanding in Size and Depth
By the 1970s, our company had clients or satellite offices in every major U.S. city. In 1978, PA’s first international affiliate, Communicare, Inc., opened in Canada. Global access expanded into Dimensional Worldwide®, a network of international partnerships offering PA course materials translated into several languages. In 1978, Drs. Buzzotta and Lefton became founding members of ISA (Instructional Systems Association).
During the 1980s, new capabilities were added, such as audio and video support for instruction and feedback. New offerings were also added: Team Building; Coaching; and, what has become our flagship workshop, Leadership Through People Skills®.
PA’s pioneering record has been cited by the American Society for Training and Development. The ASTD stated, “Psychological Associates helped move the field forward to a more professional status by demonstrating that the behavioral sciences could have a significant impact on teaching people how to sell and influence others more effectively. ”
A Consulting Leader
Along the way, we added talent and feedback assessments to our training efforts as clients requested them. In the late 1980s, we developed our own package of survey and feedback instruments, including 360° feedback; attitude and climate survey tools; and customer audits.
It was during this time that our current President, Dr. Ann Beatty, joined the company to accelerate the design and development of innovative tools to enhance PA’s consulting practice. Her team of Ph.D. psychologists pioneered the concept of including an executive’s direct reports as part of developmental meetings. This team standardized data into our exclusive Executive Profile Report, an objective, practical, one-page talent summary used to plan promotions, succession, and CEO search evaluations.
Over the years, in response to clients’ evolving requirements, we have extended our comprehensive service to include, for example, executive coaching; talent management; performance management; succession planning; change management; and team building. All of these unique tools have been integrated into PA’s High-Performance Model to provide our clients with complete, seamless consultation services.
Today, we continue to innovate and expand. Recent examples are blended-learning sales solutions and customized training in health care. As always, we maintain strategic partnerships with our clients to help them identify and develop the very best leaders.
Because of this approach, PA has experienced its most active and energizing period during the first decade of this new century. We may have over 50 years of experience, but in many ways, we are just getting started.