Promoting & Investing in O.R.
How to promulgate O.R.
O.R. is important in many aspects of contemporary life, not only in our professional careers, but in communities, charities, and our own lives. There are many aspects of modern life that can be helped by O.R., which is why we describe it as The Science of Better.
We want other people to understand the benefits of using O.R. by explaining that there's some O.R. inside just about everything from a queue to an airline ticket. You will want to spread the good word about O.R. around your workplace, to foster good customer relations. You can also use our DVD, or the video on our site LearnAboutOR, which is mainly aimed at students and teachers.
There is also another version, called O.R. Champions (members of the society need to login to access this website), which also contains U.S. examples, and also gives members the ability to register, in which case a members' name appears on the list of professionals on the Science of Better website.
In addition to your professional O.R. work, O.R. can be used in the community in a number of ways. You may want to look at other sections of this site to see how O.R. is used to help communities (see the Community OR Network), and also to help Charities, and similar bodies in the 3rd sector.
The Society wishes to encourage people who undertake Operational Research work to ‘brand’ what they do as O.R.. Increasingly, Operational Researchers are being absorbed into a wide range of other professional environments such as Marketing, IT and recently Analytics. Unless members brand what they do as O.R. they may miss out if senior managers don’t make the connection between what, say, ‘analytics’ people do and what O.R. can do. To help “brand” your work as OR, the Society has developed an O.R. mark. It looks like this:
The O.R. Mark was developed for two reasons. Firstly, the Society became aware of instances whereby the Society’s logo was being used by those who wanted to promote something to do with Operational Research. Unfortunately, this was common practice in circumstances that had no connection with the Society! Clearly, any material that has the O.R. device as it appears in the Society’s logo tends to imply that the Society endorses the O.R. event or publication. This is by no means always the case. So, in future, where the letters ‘OR’ are required, please don’t use the ‘OR’ from the Society’s logo but do feel free to use the ‘O.R. Mark’. It may be downloaded by right clicking on the icon.
Of course, the fact that O.R. techniques which have been developed in the past are becoming more and more accepted into everyday business practice is excellent news! But it is felt that there is a commensurate risk that unless we can remind the business community that they are looking to recruit people with ‘O.R. skills’, that the discipline and its attendant developmental capability will fragment and, over time, lose much of its impetus.
Why the OR Society is important – how to help
Everybody engaged in O.R. benefits from a strong profession and a strong profession benefits from a strong professional body. There are many benefits from joining the Society, as described under Membership Benefits. Apart from gaining the direct benefits, there are many ways in which you can contribute to the working of the Society, helping you to get the best out of it, and also strengthening the Society at the same time. The main ways are:-
Joining a group. The Society has Special Interest Groups, covering specific technical or economic sector topics; and also Regional Groups, depending on where you live. The groups will give you contacts you may find useful in your work. They also may hold regular meetings that you may find useful to attend, for information and networking.
You can use the Forum, to present your views on matters connected to the Society, and find out what others are saying.
You can contribute articles and papers to the various journals published by the Society. The Home page of the site tells you how to do that. You can also post existing articles you have written onto the Document Repository, where it is available to other members.
Getting others to join
More members would of course make the Society stronger, and more influential. We would like all members to encourage others to join. We have some useful material for this purpose. Please help the OR Society to grow by using these materials to explain what the OR Society is for, what it does and what it provides for O.R. professionals. Click the links below to download a PowerPoint presentation and an A4 two-sided leaflet you can print out.
Powerpoint presentation on the OR Society:
The two page handout.:
The public face of O.R.
There are other things that can be done to further the image of O.R. We are particularly interested in spreading the word about O.R., and we have a target of trying to make sure all school leavers have been introduced to the topic. We have sent copies of a DVD about O.R. to all secondary schools in the country. And an updated version of this material is on our sister website LearnAboutOR, which has separate sections for teachers, children of different ages, and students. You can draw attention of this site to people that may be interested. The link is www.learnaboutor.co.uk.
It is true that O.R. is not as well known as some other professions. Perhaps we should make more of the famous scientists who have made important contributions to the ideas and development of O.R.. Famous scientists include Patrick Blackett, Russell L. Ackoff, Anthony Stafford Beer, John Nash and Tony Lewis of Duckworth/Lewis fame. All of these have pages on Facebook, and articles in Wikipedia.