The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

How To Know You’re Improving …

A few weeks ago, I ran a planner training session – with the amazing Paula Bloodworth – in Amsterdam.

The theme of it the session was this …

When we first presented the image, you could tell a few people were wondering what the hell I was going on about.

It was a training session … designed to help planners make less mistakes, not more … but they were missing the point.

Planning isn’t about perfecting.

It’s not even about differentiating

It’s about making things happen … moving things forward … opening new possibilities … increasing value [copyright Weigel] and you don’t get to that if you just stick with the traditional approaches, practices and goals.

Of course this doesn’t mean you get to be an irresponsible dick with someone else’s money, but it does mean you have to look at problems in ways that normal approaches may not get – or even appreciate – and to do that, you need confidence.

Confidence in your abilities.

Confidence in feeling uncomfortable.

Confidence in making others feel uncomfortable.

Of course, at the end, you have to pull it all together because not only are you not going to get a client to try something without the chance of great reward, they need to know there’s method behind your madness … and while you might not always achieve the result you all wanted, ‘failing’ because you were pushing for something great is rarely failure, because not only do you all get a shitload of learnings from the exercise [learnings that can get you over the line next time] but you often end up opening a door to a World the whole industry never imagined and now wants to run full-pelt through.

In other words, you are pushing things forward not keeping things the same.

Which all helps explain why I believe planners should aspire to make better mistakes rather than succeed at average levels … because while consistency may get you the promotion, confidence creates the possibilities.

17 Comments so far
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Comment by Pete

Isn’t the answer to how to make better mistakes just become a planner?

Comment by DH

I am not going to turn this into a planner vs creative debate. But if I was, I’d say you get paid much better for your mistakes when you’re a creative director.

But I won’t, because I’m not immature.

Comment by Rob

I agree with confidence but for too many planners that’s all they’ve got. That’s when they become the mistake.

Comment by DH

Then they are not planners, just imposters.

Comment by George

How do I tell the difference?

Comment by DH

You’re on fire today Dave.
Or you will be if I see you with my box of matches.

Comment by Rob

I would love to hear you present this. You have such as great perspective on what makes a planner useful and how to do it.

Comment by George

What you mean is you’d love to hear Paula present this.

Comment by Rob

This is a planner blog?

Comment by Marcus

It is a lot of things, but it’s definitely not a planner blog.

Comment by Rob

I am sure the attendees found it an empowering perspective. I believe it was JFK who once said, it is only a mistake if you repeat it.

Comment by Lee Hill

I can’t think of anyone who can teach others how to make bigger mistakes.

Comment by Bazza

Did you in your session define “mistake”, perhaps with a little example from an episode that took place on a ferry between the UK and Denmark in 1985?

Comment by fredrik sarnblad

And there `I was thinking you were better than everyone else Freddie, ha.

Comment by Rob

To Lee’s point, I suppose it wasn’t actually a mistake unless you repeated it, which I very much doubt that you did (and ever will). And no, I’m clearly not better than everyone else, but just as flawed.

Comment by fredrik sarnblad

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