IPA Chair for Northern Ireland Valerie Ludlow puts a new spin on an age old question.
It’s generally assumed that as a business leader, our continued accreditation days are over. We can leave these efforts to our team, to the younger, up-and-coming members of the office who are in the position to benefit most from extended study and qualifications. Done.
For better or for worse, I don’t see it like that. And I honestly think it’s for better.
The accredited MIPA Scheme is the most visible, robust badge of professionalism possible. Designed to put the advertising industry’s employees on equal footing with accountants, architects, and lawyers, becoming an Accredited MIPA enables you to truly show your value and experience to clients. And in the incredibly competitive landscape we find ourselves in, we could all do with looking for every advantage we have available to us.
More than what it says on the tin, I advocate on the basis of leadership goals. For me, there are few things more destructive for agency culture and morale than a manager who practices the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ philosophy. We’ve surely all experienced that in our careers and when it happens, it’s not hard to see the goodwill and team spirit of the office visibly ebb away.
That’s not for me. I would rather walk the walk.
What’s good for my team, is good for me.
And to be a leader who inspires a team to be at their best requires that I am doing everything I can to be at my own personal best.
Learning has always been my chosen route to make sure I’m doing that. Even when the demands of increasingly senior positions coupled with home and family life collide, learning and furthering my own qualifications has been central to my professional strategy. I don’t see that as finite. Regardless of the position I hold, it’s something that will continue to shape and guide my decision making.
Things are moving quickly, the industry is evolving and the role of the advertising agency has diversified and expanded. Any agency that hopes to stay relevant to clients and peers has to invest wholeheartedly in training and learning. The breadth of knowledge required of all of us is stretching and IPA qualifications are a pivotal way to equip yourself to be a true partner to your clients, to add value to your agency and to propel your career. By taking on further accreditation at all levels of agency life, we can hope to inspire those around us to keep asking questions, to continue to push boundaries and to seek to lead the field in whichever discipline they want.
In its golden years, advertising and marketing was a flourishing industry that held huge aspirational pull for students and entry level professionals. Young talent was desperate for an opportunity in a well regarded agency but the climate has changed. These days young professionals are more unsure. Can they count on the industry opportunity available? Should they regard them as serious and as reliable as those in the legal and accountancy fields? These are very real concerns and it’s key that we find a route to attract and retain the best talent by underlining that their professional development is vital to us.
This is one of the core reasons that ASG & Partners are so firmly committed to the IPA. And as the head of the agency, being a MIPA sets the tone for our team. It demonstrates just how centrally we place the professional development of every single member of the agency. And how impactful that continued training can be to their career path.
We are running a series of exclusive breakfast events to help MIPAs build their personal brand. Sign up to the first session in March.Interested in becoming a MIPA? Find out how