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


And You Thought Corona Virus Was The Worst Thing Happening Right Now …

So recently, I got an email from a guy called Fergus at On Strategy.

He’s a planner, but more importantly, he’s a planner who wants to help all planners get better, more confident and more capable in their jobs.

Not in terms of giving them models or processes or other stuff that often takes the creativity out of strategy, but giving access to the stories, conversations and people who are often only accessible to those with a very expensive subscription to various industry platforms … which is ironic given most of these platforms claim to exist to raise the bar for the industry as a whole.

The reason this is so important is there’s a distinct lack of investment by agencies in training and industry events/membership – not to mention most of them don’t have a philosophy on how to look at the world of planning and creativity – so we end up with way too many planners thinking the only way they can learn the stories and craft of the discipline is by following the ego-filled rantings of various people on twitter.

While I’m definitely one of them, you’ll soon have another reason why this is a terrible way to ‘grow’ for most planners. Existing or wannabe.

So while Fergus is doing a very good thing – exemplified by the huge range of truly great planners he’s had on his show – he made a fatal error by [you guessed it] asking me to rant about the state of strategy and what I think we’re doing wrong and right.

While I’m sure Fergus won’t make that mistake again, I’m grateful he did and you can pick fault with all I said by listening here … though if I were you, I’d check out the much better and smarter stories from either my old mate Britton at W+K Portland, the brilliant Lucy Jameson of Uncommon – whose shadow is smarter than most planners brains combined (Fact!) – or ex-R/GA London’s Simon Wassef who explains how this office helped design, build and create the brand, story and system for Beats By Dre.

Much better uses of your time.

But then you already knew that.


24 Comments

Just as you were beginning to suck me into your whirlpool of emotional power, you break the spell with this piece of self serving planner ego hell. Thank you. I may listen to it now. When I can’t get to sleep.

Comment by DH

Rob’s dulcet tones shouting at you through a computer mic with a questionable internet connection.

Comment by Pete

I think that was the interviewer trying to save his listeners from more pain.

Comment by Bazza

Hahahaha, well I’m certainly not going to rival Matthew McConaughey am I. In anything.

Comment by Rob

I have already listened to it. Really enjoyed it. I particularly like how you talk about too many planners focus on wanting to look clever rather than help make provocative creativity. Well said Rob.

Comment by Pete

Did I come across a bit ranty? I think I did and the very nice Fergus heavily edited the interview to ensure I didn’t come too much across like a maniac filled with too many espressos and e-numbers. Hahaha.

Comment by Rob

Ranty Rob is the best Rob.

Comment by George

Good way of avoiding having to try to look clever himself.

Comment by John

Well, let’s be honest – that would be an impossible task.

Comment by Rob

I didn’t realize RGA London were behind the early days of Beats.

I bet that piece of information is more than I will learn from your podcast.

Comment by Bazza

Yep. Created the ads and the Beats Music platform. I think we even did the iconic logo. Of course I won’t say how some of the ads were a music version of a Nike spot – even though the World Cup spot, the very good ‘Game Before The Game’ was managed from the client side by Jason White. My old boss at Wieden and someone who previous to being an MD, ran Nike globally for WK. Ha.

Comment by Rob

Beats back then is not Beats right now.

Comment by Bazza

Is anything?

Excerpt this blog and that’s not a good thing either. Ha.

Comment by Rob

I won’t remind you of your comment on Beats pre-Apple purchase.

Comment by George

Something to listen to on the drive to some meetings.

Thank you Robert, I will enjoy this.

Comment by Lee Hill

You will Lee.

Comment by Pete

Don’t bet on it.

Comment by Rob

You’re a planner?

Comment by Marcus

When he’s not being a trouble maker.

Comment by George

I don’t know if that’s a compliment or an insult. Ha.

Comment by Rob

For everyone else, being called either of those names would be an insult. For you, it’s a compliment.

Comment by DH

why the fuck would i want to spend more time with you? its bad enough i come here everyfuckingday.

Comment by andy@cynic

Even prisoners in solitary confinement don’t want his sort of company.

Comment by DH

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