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

You Either Are Building Or Destroying. Building Is Better …

One of the things I’ve found interesting over the years is how planners deal with creative reviews.

In the main, they fall into 2 groups.

1. The ones that tear things down.

2. The ones who lift things up.

What makes #1 worse is that in many cases, what drives their destruction isn’t the work doesn’t answer the brief, but doesn’t answer it in the way they imagined.

In other words, they’re acting like a Creative Director.

Don’t get me wrong, a brief is important – it’s something that not only gives direction and lets ideas be pressure tested, but serves as a historical document so people can see where things came from at some point in the future.

But – and it’s an important but – a brief is not law.

It is not something that can’t be changed, enhanced or thrown out and re-done.

The goal has to be the work and while briefs can work ‘in theory’, if the creative teams aren’t getting to ideas that ignite energy in people, then it’s time to look at where the brief is stopping creativity to flow.

That does not mean you post-ratrionalise whatever is produced, but by the same token, you don’t expect a brief to be answered to the letter, which is why I stand by the belief a brief should act as a direction rather than a destination.

And that’s why I like planners who ‘lift things up’.

Who look for the good in the work rather than the bad.

Not in a Paula Abdul ‘everything is good even when it’s not’ kind-of-way, but recognise the threads that could lead to something exciting and new … threads that encourage rather than dictate … threads that lets everyone feel you’re on the same team and want the same thing.

The reason I say this is because I recently saw a quote that I loved.

It comes from US politician, John A Morrison and he say’s …

“Knowledge may come from taking things apart but wisdom only comes from putting things together”.

I love this.

I love what it means and represents.

And that’s why I think planners need to spend more time on wisdom than knowledge, because while a major part of our job is finding out the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’, if we don’t think of how those things can come together in interesting ways, then we’re not only limiting our own potential, we’re doing a disservice to where creativity can go and what it can achieve.

18 Comments so far
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I hate it when I like your posts but this is a good one with a good quote as well. I’m not sure if this means there is something wrong with you or me.

Comment by DH

you sick fucks.

Comment by andy@cynic

good post for once campbell, guess i shouldnt remind you your nickname at happy towers was simon cowell and it wasnt because of your fucking manboobs.

Comment by andy@cynic

Or his wit.

Comment by DH

Or musical taste.

Comment by John

Well that wasn’t because I was killing creativity, that was because I was killing their bubble of exclusivity that they were trying to claim represented ‘average people’s average lives’ … which had already massively offended me.

Comment by Rob

i know they were up themselves wankers, im just saying what they called you.

Comment by andy@cynic

I’m all about the positivity.

Comment by John

Then save yourself John by getting the hell away from here as quick as you can. It will only suck you down into its depths of misery.

Comment by DH

if im going down you fuckers are coming down with me.

Comment by andy@cynic

Multiple buildings and a windmill are even better.

Comment by John

Yes … thank you.

Though the Windmill is going soon, much to the happiness of my credit card company.

Comment by Rob

You own a credit card company!

Comment by John

Great post Robert. I still find it surprising how few planners realize how traumatic it is for a creative to show their work to others. Feeling they are being supported is the best way to building a more trusting relationship and better work.

Comment by George

Yep, totally agree. If planners remembered the feelings they go through when they’re sharing their thoughts with others, they might be a bit more sympathetic to others when they share their thoughts with them. Even more so given they have to use imagination where we can still anchor our stuff in less subjective areas.

Comment by Rob

Criticise the work not the creator of the work.

Comment by John

This perspective is as true for business as it is for creativity.

Comment by Lee Hill

This is great Rob.

Comment by Pete

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