May 11, 2015
Politics, Creativity, Miliband and the Blink Test
It turns out that politics is not unlike creative direction. Great Creative Directors are great, not just for the work that they do, but also for the work that they don’t let out of the door. They have a sixth sense about work that won’t fly. As Malcolm Gladwell might have put it: they only have to blink at a bad idea, and they can see that it is bad. They are paid to say “no” as much as to say “yes”.
And so it is with politics.
As is now becoming clear, many people possessed of a Sixth Political Sense knew, deep down, that the Miliband Strategy did not pass the Blink Test. Worse, they knew that he himself did not pass the Blink Test. He just did not feel like a Prime Minister in waiting. Had he become a Creative Director, he would have been the type who mistakes his own passion for an idea for proof that the idea is a good one. He did not understand his own market and its dynamics. Inevitably, he lost the pitch.
The question, at least for this blog, is not: why did he lose? The question is: why was the interview process for the job so flawed? Why did everyone blink and miss it? Or – more accurately – blink and let it happen?