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

Down The Rabbit Holes …

So we’ve recently had some interns join the Deutsch planning mob.

They’re smart, passionate and enthusiastic as hell.

Far smarter than I was at their age. Arguably, smarter than I am now.

So I met up with them to see how they were going and they told me how they were getting to grips with things because initially, it was so overwhelming that they found themselves going down a lot of rabbit holes.

I get it, it was super daunting to me when I started too but the one thing that concerned me was their belief that rabbit holes were a negative.

As I pointed out to them, if they don’t go down rabbit holes, then they’re no use to me.

Rabbit holes are an essential part of the planning process.

Not just in terms of exploring possibilities to tackle the problem you have been given … nor to pressure test the strategy you have identified … but to also reveal if there is are more interesting ways to tackle the problem than you may have originally considered or identified.

Rabbit holes are as much about opening possibilities as they are closing them which is why if you don’t embrace them, all you’re doing is screwing yourself – and the client – over.

Sure, focusing on what you think the client will buy may get you quicker approvals and client compliments, but allowing your brain the space and time to wander can help you get to somewhere new … somewhere exciting … somewhere that allows creativity to take you to places no one saw coming … places that will attract rather than chase … and even if you don’t end up somewhere more interesting than where you started, at least you can be sure the strategy you’re recommending has been pushed and prodded, which is why I passionately believe rabbit holes aren’t a waste of time, but a key deliverable of what we do and have to do.

17 Comments so far
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The interns might hate you for telling them that, but you’re right.

Comment by Pete

down the rabbit holes till a creative makes a decision and saves your fucking stupid planners asses.

Comment by andy@cynic

rabbits is the right fucking metaphor because you planners are breeding like the fucking carrot eating bastards.

Comment by andy@cynic

There is truth to that statement given it is the creative department who is held accountable for making something interesting and distinct with the strategy. Starting with something everyone is excited by is the minimum expectation.

Comment by George

so now youre a fucking convert. prick.

Comment by andy@cynic

Sounds like they’re focussed on how to do something rather than what to do.

Comment by John


Comment by andy@cynic

This should apply to senior folks who have forgotten that a process is only there to help clients believe agencies work like them.
When you talk about planning, it has to be said you make a lot of sense. If only that applied to the rest of this blog.

Comment by Northern

Nice burn.

Comment by DH

Thanks a lot Northern. So much for planners sticking together.

Comment by Rob

Only teasing

Comment by Northern

Sounds like whoever had been teaching them before was more focused on pleasing than planning.

Comment by George

Exactly … that sums it up exactly.

I’d thought ‘packagers’ rather than planners but yours is better. Damn you.

Comment by Rob

The deepest, darkest rabbit hole of my life was that bloody shed. I was stuck in there for four whole years. At the time I thought it was the worst place I could possibly have been but I learned more down there than most: more about myself, others, politics, humbleness and what makes real people tick. Wrong turns, dead-ends and rabbit holes are an incredibly important part of life and growing up.

Comment by Marcus

This may be a golden period for your blog Robert. You have written some excellent posts with valuable lessons recently. Including this one. Long may it continue.

Comment by Lee Hill

[…] their realities, their contexts, their truths and dramas and all the nuances and personal rabbit holes they go down to manage what they think and decide to […]

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[…] I appreciate this can be fucking annoying to my colleagues, I am a firm believer that rabbit holes have real value and nothing should be so set in stone that if something better comes along, you just dismiss it […]

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