Moloney Search are excited to announce that Ian Iceton has joined the business to lead the launch of their Digital Assessment Tool, The Cambridge Code.
Ahron Peskin conducted the following interview with them both.
Int: Dr Moloney, we are delighted to have this opportunity to talk to you and Ian about this exciting new development for The Cambridge Code. Could you tell us how this new tool came about and why you felt it was so important to be involved in its development?
CM: Having trained as a medical Doctor I was always very surprised that in the corporate world I then joined all of the psychometric tests readily available were behaviourally based and looked at what could be seen and not what was driving these behaviours.
Int: So they only looked at what someone chose to show or what you as an assessor could see?
CM: Exactly, and there has been no new Scientific developments in this area since the late 1970s.
Int: So how did it all start?
CM: Well, at Moloney Search we have always cared deeply about hidden talent, how you measure potential and how it is often ‘NOT what you see that is what you get’. However, to dig deep into people’s subconscious drivers and not to judge them on external behaviours you need to sit with an occupational psychologist and this is very time consuming and expensive so is only really used at Board and SLT level.
Int: So you wanted to level the playing field and make such insights available to everyone?
CM: Absolutely. In this day and age it seemed incredible that we hadn’t digitised the experience of reading the subconscious mind.
Int: But you thought you could?
CM: Yes, a client threw down the challenge and we took it up. Hosted by Cambridge University, we brought together a group of scientists, researchers and clinicians and conducted 4 years of research and trials to write the algorithm, The Cambridge Code.
Int: And how does it work?
CM: Well I’m not sure we have the time in this interview…..but some of the methodology behind our work can be seen on the Cambridge Code website www.thecambridgecode.com. We had input and validation from Harvard and MIT professors as well as being hugely grateful to our FTSE clients, the Government and Regulators who were all early users.
Int: So tell us about this new development and the launch with Ian at the helm?
CM: Ian Iceton was one of the most impressive HRDs I had the privilege to work with and he was always interested in new digital innovations. He had heard about our work when he was HRD and a client at Network Rail and his team used the well-being product of TCC - the rest is history.....
Int: Ian, very good to meet you. For those you don’t know you am I right in saying you are that rare breed of HRD who has a commercial past?
Ian: Yes that is right. I qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant with PWC, and am now a Fellow of that Institute. I also undertook an MBA looking at International Business. I started work as an economic and then Financial consultant, but mid-career had a significant career change, and became HR Director at Volkswagen Group UK. Since then I have also been a HR Director at Skanska, Network Rail, and River & Mercantile.
Int: And can you tell us about your journey with TCC?
Ian: Well, as Curly said I was originally a client where I used the Cambridge Code with my Transformation team at Network Rail. The whole team found it an extremely powerful and insightful tool. It also provided a language that allowed individuals to understand themselves better, and to relate to others in their team, and their manager in a more informed way. It certainly helped improve the team’s Mental Well Being. So when Curly found out that I was looking to leave full time corporate life, and develop a portfolio career, she invited me to help launch The Cambridge Code for Moloney Search, to a wider business community and I jumped at the chance.
Int: We would also love to hear about what the tool measures and how it is being used?
Ian: The tool looks at a person’s underlying drivers, those subconscious facets that are developed during childhood that typically drive our adult behaviours, motivations and personality. The Cambridge Code is unusual in that it has been developed to "read" a person’s subconscious brain, and to produce a report for individuals which is accessible and extremely useful; And, as it is all achieved via a simple digital online tool. it is also an empowering and inclusive instrument.
Int: What does the future hold, not only for TCC but in the word of psychometric profiling?
CM: Well we have both thought about this a great deal. In my day job, as a head-hunter, I think the expertise lies in those ‘hidden intangibles" which actually TCC is a mechanism to replicate and standardise, and should therefore enhance recruitment decisions. Being able to quantify and codify with an algorithm, someone’s drive and potential which is impossible to measure at interview is a major leap forward.
Ian: And furthermore, we are both passionate about D&I, especially inclusion, and many existing recruitment and promotion processes are not fit for purpose, as they are based on some standard and outmoded assumptions. Using TCC is a much more inclusive approach, in that it does not make presumptions about a person’s background or CV, but looks beneath that and asks, where will this person shine? As someone who has been researching the challenges faced by autistic people in the job world, as an example of many people who are neurodiverse, this new approach has the potential to open up the world of work to many groups of talented people who might today be excluded.
So we both believe that in the working world we are moving into The Cambridge Code is a great opportunity to update and democratise the kind of understanding and insights normally only achieved by the use of Occupational Psychologists, and in doing so, allows people the opportunity to have better insights into how they will operate at their best at work and in their careers.....
In fact, we also believe it will help people be better informed about their personal relationships, but that's another story....