IPA professional development director Patrick Mills
IPA professional development director Patrick Mills
A view from Patrick Mills

IPA ADAPT: Sharing your way to business success

IPA professional development director Patrick Mills on sharing your way to business success.

There are countless benefits to society of the technological revolution, but one that strikes me as being a real boon to society is the rise and rise of sharing. There is even a global sharing day (it was on 1st June).

It struck me that while this is not a new phenomenom, it has until the recent past not been particularly prevalent in a business environment. The capitalist 80s taught us to seek personal or business competitive advantage through coveting our knowledge.

The explosion of the web and social media has blown that notion out of the water.

Enter the new world of collaboration and sharing of knowledge and ideas to the greater benefit of brands, business and society.

Enter the new world of collaboration and sharing of knowledge and ideas to the greater benefit of brands, business and society.

The agenda of the current IPA president, Ian Priest, very much expounds this philosophy – the best way for brands to grow is through a more commercial approach to creativity brought about by better collaboration and stronger partnerships between clients and their agencies.

It is this that has guided the IPA to share more of its world class learning and development with communities outside its membership. Our learning products are all created, written, edited and delivered by practitioners so the principles of sharing have long been a trait of the industry, but until very recently we only shared that knowledge amongst ourselves.

The realisation was that it is much better to create shared learning opportunities so the whole industry is on the same page, using agreed best practices. Not only is this good for the bottom line, it has added benefits of improved staff retention and the attraction of the brightest and best.

IPA Council

In 2008 IPA Council agreed to share its online qualifications with a global audience, this was rapidly followed by a similar agreement to share the learning with marketing executives as well, with the primary aim being to promote the UK as a centre of excellence in advertising globally.

What is exciting is how quickly the word has spread: a licensing agreement with the EACA has resulted in over 1,000 practitioners passing the IPA Foundation Certificate exam in 30 countries across Europe, and agencies in the Middle East, Asia and North Africa have sat both the Foundation Certificate and the Eff Test (our qualification focused on campaign evaluation and effectiveness).

Executives from Mondelez, Direct Line, Virgin Media, Diageo, IBM, Channel 4 and Wicks have also participated in the Foundation and Advanced Certificates and the Excellence Diploma.

Delegate feedback tells us that IPA qualifications are a bench mark for excellence and our order book shows that there is a strong desire to use IPA learning all around the world from Australia and New Zealand to Singapore, the Middle East and the USA.

In addition it is heartening to see many cases of agencies and clients learning together to ensure stronger working relationships.

This can only further the UK’s reputation as a leader in the marketing, advertising and communications industry. And, above all, a champion of sharing and collaboration.

The upcoming Talent Adaptathon on 7th October will consider the economic value of people and how attracting and retaining the right talent are all fundamental to business services.  We plan to use the findings from the Talent strand of Ian Priest’s agenda to continue to evolve the industry.

And of course we plan to start sharing these lessons around the world too.