IPA seeks to identify Diagonal Thinking
At the IPA HR Conference today (12th October) John Gage of Agency Assessments shared the first findings of an exciting new project he is undertaking for the IPA that looks to identify the ‘Creative DNA’ for the agency industry.
The initial hypothesis is that outstanding advertising people practice “Diagonal Thinking”. They are creative thinkers who also possess high-level cognitive thinking skills, useful in analysing business issues. For example they can think strategically, analyse problems in a linear way, and move helicopter style from the big picture to the detail.
The results of the first test, undertaken this summer, have been encouraging and have so far validated the original hypothesis. The first test group was made up of five senior people, each from a different function within advertising. They scored highly (mainly over the 80th quartile) on both critical reasoning and on lateral thinking, in tests validated on a control group of other senior managers and professionals.
The IPA believes that if common characteristics can be identified it will help the industry refine its recruitment process and that sex, race, age or background will no longer be a perceived barrier to entry. The IPA also expects to assess its impact on current remuneration models.
“The project still has some way to go in terms of testing” says the IPA’s Employment Advisor Mary Budd, “but if it is successful, this could be a useful way of identifying the development potential of junior candidates – including those who have not always been considered as future greats.”
The next stage for the project, which is being run by the IPA Diagonal Thinking Group chaired by Andrew McGuiness of TBWA/London is to increase the test sample to 20 and then on to 75. The results of the second stage of the project will be complete by the end of 2004.
Last updated 09/09/2008