Friday, 16 October 2009

This is how it'll be

Hey! Welcome to this brand new thing. It's not that new, not really. I've thought about it for ages, but it didn't have a name 'til recently. Let me try and explain what's going to happen here.

What is planning, really? Technically, John Steel describes it as being the voice of the consumer. That's nice, and it's definitely a way to make you feel good about your job. Sneaky suits hoodwink the client, crafty creatives deceive the public but we, the proud planners, empower the people. Yeah, I've been reading Beowulf.
Other departments see you as client fluffers, doing a job that other people should be doing - that might be true.
Meanwhile, heads of planning will consistently tell graduates and others who want to break into planning that their job is to be interesting, and interesting.
And if the blogosphere is to be believed, the role of planner mixes dataphile with future-casting, some (very commendable) Big Thinking, and maybe a bit of poking about with the entrails of a focus group.

All a bit confusing, especially for a youngster. Does planning come from within, or without? I don't know. What I am sure of is that we don't spend enough time commemorating all the extra bits that make planning happen.
You know, all the stuff in the world!

+1 isn't the theory behind everything. It isn't the buzzword created to make an idea more palatable to colleagues and clients. And it definitely isn't the 'insight'. +1 is you, and me, and our individual ways of looking at things. And +1 is those things themselves: strange experiences, things in the news, chance encounters at a bus stop (and yes, the 'internet sensation' People Of The Now is coming back). 
If things work out the way they're supposed to, planning plus one will be a shoebox of all the fun stuff that makes planning happen - and not the theory. Well, not a lot.

So here's the deal:
-because interesting stuff happens all the time, the page is gonna be updated on an fairly unpredictable basis. Same as most blogs then, but I thought I'd make it clear.
-however, because writing is nice, I'm going to promise that a bit of unpredictable, well-written, decent writing comes up every other Tuesday. I have some ideas about this, but I'm looking for suggestions too.
-this isn't just for planners. In fact, if this makes one see planning as a little less weird and out there, I'll call this a job well done.

This is going to be really really awesome, I promise. More stuff will appear over the week, but the first big step is for someone to tell me what to investigate/think about/write about for Tuesday 27th October. This is a challenge to anyone who reads this: tell me what to do.

Winner gets kudos, and their burning question answered.


  1. This IS awesome.

    Maybe you could explain this to me??


  2. James, how do you think laterally? I want you to describe your thought process, and the feeling you have when you think you've cracked it. What does it feel like?

    (Enough of a big/random question for you?)

  3. Thank you for your suggestions - this is already a VERY very hard choice and if I cheat and try to do both or even meld the two into one its very likely your fault.

    Of course, if something else came along to SMASH the two contenders into the dust that would make it easier. But is it possible?

  4. Of course, you could always discuss Robert Mack's influence on your career to date.


Sound off on your big crazy opinions here please... and if you have a longer piece, send it in and we'll put it up all nice and in full :)