Thinking about planning

Here is a summary (by Rory Sutherland) of the debate that was hosted by IPA in August...
some points:

  • It's more important to have good people than to obsess about what they do
  • There are many, many ways of solving a business problem… none of these is right or wrong… if you are turning human understanding into business advantage for your clients, you're doing a good job; if you're not, you're not.
  • "brand" should not be - as it seems to have become - the default starting point for all thinking - though it should patently direct the way the solution is implemented.
  • A better mix of people will hence have a better chance of arriving at an optimal solution.
  • A good scientist will acknowledge that more than 50% of scientific breakthroughs are reached through post-rationalised ideas, not through sequential logic.
I think the second point tells a basic truth that can be adopted for thinking about planning too.
It doesn't teach very much but it suggests that probably methodologies don't always work; sometimes they risk to dry up the creativity process.
At the same time I think good strategists don't allow their egos to stand in the way of the business goals.
1 and 100 persons, 1 and 100 minds, planners have to be good to reinvent themselves over and over again, depending on projects, clients and colleagues.
Planning has to be as creative as the creative department, but it's goal is not to come out with a strategy that works, but with a strategy that works, inspire and make people proud of the project. This is continuous adaptation and change.
Otherwise, as stated by, strategy may be confused with a piss inn the well.
(As one creative (Chris Wilkins?) remarked to a planner..... "You and I both drink from the same well of inspiration. The difference is that you get to piss in it first.")

Again, here is the entire Campaign article

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