Origin of The Predictive Index® - Consulting Using The Predictive Index® | PI Midwest

Origin of The Predictive Index®

Arnold S. Daniels - Founder Predictive IndexArnold S. Daniels

Arnold S. Daniels, author of the Predictive Index and founder of PI Worldwide, was born and brought up in Boston and its suburbs. Having majored in journalism in college, going to work for the Boston Record-American, a Hearst newspaper, was a natural first career choice.

That was in 1939, and in 1942, a much different "career opportunity" presented itself, and Arnold enlisted in what was then called the United States Army Air Corps. He was processed through the Air Corps classification center in Nashville, where he had his first exposure to tests, assessments and other measurements - a wide variety of them over a period of ten days. Classified as a bombardier, navigator and gunnery officer, he went on to training in a number of different aircraft and locations, emerging at length a Second Lieutenant, complete with a single bar on each shoulder, a pair of wings on his chest, and very little idea of what was to come next.

The next major step came soon enough. It was overseas to the Eighth Airforce, heavy bombers flying in combat over Europe from bases in England. After flying 35 such missions during the six months before D-Day, and one super mission after the invasion, Arnold was "stood down" and assigned to desk duties. Those duties consisted mainly of working with a psychologist who had been brought over to England by the Air Corps to study the causes and failures of bombing missions and had requested that someone with experience be assigned to work with him in interpreting mission reports, logs, strike photos, etc.

During that year Arnold was introduced to the subject of tests and measurements, taught a good deal about their design and application, and made aware that these devices were coming into use in business organizations in the United States. It was a rare opportunity, and Arnold realized as time passed that he had become much more interested in psychological tests and measurements than he was in journalism. Thus, the next career step came into focus. First there was a brief, but very valuable detour: The Air Corps sent Arnold to a course called "Management & Statistics" at the Harvard Graduate Business School. That course provided technical know-how that would be essential to the development of the Predictive Index.

Now the time had come to embark on the career which had looked so interesting back in England during the war. Arnold went to work for first one, and then another, consulting firm, both involved in the general areas of organization development and personnel management. At the same time he continued to educate himself in behavioral tests and measurements, and their workplace applications. Out of his experience Arnold came to believe that a new and simpler system was necessary if the information developed by behavioral assessment was to have a strong impact on clients' operations.

That belief led to the development over the next few years of the assessment instrument which Arnold called the Predictive Index, and of a plan for making the information provided by that instrument available and understood by client/users.

From 1952 - 1955 Arnold worked at developing and refining the Form I Predictive Index checklist, and accumulating the scoring statistics required for the development of the Form 1 Score Sheet. Thus armed, he took a very deep breath and set himself up in business as Arnold S. Daniels Associates - later to become PI Worldwide. That was in June of 1955, and he set out to sell his new system, complete with the training course that he had written. It was a five-day training course, just long enough, Arnold felt, to thoroughly and soundly prepare clients to understand and constructively use the Predictive Index in their organizations.

While he started with the expectation that most of his clients would be personnel managers and their staff, his first training course, in August 1955, was conducted for the two partner/owners of an aluminum storm window and roofing and siding sales business.

And there it stood in the late summer of 1955. . . a client list of one and an analyst list of two. And in Arnold S. Daniels Associates a very strongly motivated staff of one. By the end of 1956 the client list had grown to about thirty, almost all of them in New England. But the word was spreading, and the list was growing steadily. The original forms were working well; the training course notebook still had not a single printed word in it following the front piece page, and Daniels Associates was about to move out of its attic location in Arnold's home to its first office.

Much was learned during those first few years. And in response to the interest of line management people, the training course was edited a little to emphasize some material of particular interest to them.

And at about the same time, in the early nineteen sixties, with many thousands of P.I.s available for statistical study, the norms (Score Sheet) were revised and refined to yield Form II. By then there were three P.I. Licensees, and the client list was building to over 120. And a few notes in print were added to the workbook for the training course; the analysts still took most of the course down by hand, but complaints about writer's cramp were on the increase.

In 1971, Arnold S. Daniels Associates was incorporated as PI Worldwide, producing not even a ripple on the NYSE, but putting the business on a somewhat more formal basis.

By 1991, in response to the frequently expressed wishes of both clients and Licensees, the training course, now called the Workshop, was reduced to three days. Arnold had produced a further revised and edited notebook for the Workshop: the format was improved and condensed, and more information for both analysts and trainers was put in print. PI Worldwide entered the nineties with the best workbook and the shortest workshop yet.

Today, with PI Worldwide printing almost a million surveys a year in more than 60 languages, with thousands of clients around the world, with 31 Licensees and about 100 Associates working with them, and more than 25,000 active P.I. analysts on any given day, the Predictive Index program has become a much larger and more complex activity than Arnold envisioned in 1955.

Arnold Daniels died in September 1998. He left behind not only a premiere program but also an unsurpassed commitment to excellence.

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