Well, I’ll first make my little plug for the upcoming planningness conference in Boulder and NYC Sept 30-Oct 1. It’s a can’t miss. I won’t get into everyone who is speaking, but it’s all the awesome folks. Will be amazing. Hard part will be to decide where to go.
So the premise of planningness is to focus us on MAKING stuff and DOING. These are two massively important things to those who work in the strategy/planning arena. We don’t typically “make” stuff that lives in the world. We make (important) documents that build, support and tell you how it will live in the world however, but not necessarily contributing to the tangible endgame in every situation. While this is groovy and a very important step to grounding and reasoning “the work”, it’s critical to be a part (or even BE) the work. Thereby rises the importance of making.
For me, the great example of a shop that’s “doing” is BBH. They’ve taken the “do stuff” model to a new level. They’ve had ZAG for awhile (with awesome by-products like the wildly successful Mrs.O.org blog/book/phenomenon). Planning is still taking on the same strategic problem solving tasks, but additionally are playing in the world of creation. Anomoly has done this as well as many others, experimenting with new models and things within the agency walls. Brilliant! You have smart, creative entities, DO something with them!
Heidi Hackemer over at BBH is a dynamo–the six items or less project was featured in the NYTimes today. Super amazing. Super inspiring. So fabulous. And finds time to speak at Hyper Island. If that doesn’t inspire you to DO something, I don’t know what will. For me, she’s become one of the people to really look up to and learn from in this industry.
OK love fest aside. This social world connects us. We know each other (loosely) enough. If you have a great idea, you have a community who is ready and willing to help/support you. I even saw it in my own little creation this week with my 3six5 post. Now I don’t claim to be a professional writer. I kept a diary as a kid, I blog casually, I write decently well for my job, but not a”writer” by any means. Nor do I have the most expansive “number” of followers. However, I am lucky enough to have a wonderfully supportive, generous and influential group of friends in the space (thank you friends!). It’s hard to believe that little ol’ me got well over 3000 views of that little post as a part of an amazing project with over a million views. The gracious support of people I truly call my friends, anything can happen. An even better example is Bud Caddell who has raised over $14K for his book project from his network of supporters/backers. It’s amazing.
My challenge (to myself and you!) is to DO something in the next couple weeks. Get that personal project/life project started. It’s not just painting the fence or finishing the “honey do” list. It’s making something tangible and throwing it out in the world. If it sticks, great (you may just be a millionaire). If it doesn’t, learn from it and try again in a couple weeks. The important thing is what you’re doing is something that makes your heart a little happier. Having these awesome outlets of creativity can spawn great work/career things as well, but don’t go into it with that intent. Make something that you love just because you love it.
Image via: http://nemoorange.com/newmoon/