An excerpt: "Agency planners are valuable to us because their skills and experiences have taught them to be good collaborators; they know how to work with people and ideas."
Lest you think I am using this as an opportunity to grandstand about how great planning is, have no fear, the post's author Russell Davies - who also has a cool blog - observes that what planners are good at today the rest of the world needs to emulate:
"In the world we’re all moving into – client-based strategy and creativity, multiple agency partners, communications integrated across a wealth of media platforms - these will be increasingly important skills."
In an essay posted on his site (download at the link) Davies continues to explain what planning is ultimately all about - facilitating teamwork:
"...it’s obvious that in the modern world ideas aren’t really had by lone geniuses. They don’t come from a clever planner in an ivory tower or a genius creative team in a black box. The modern brand world is too complex for that. Ideas are turning up through teamwork, conversation and iteration. And that team includes the client, agency people, other partners and all sorts of random people like consumers....This midwife role isn’t something you read about in many planning textbooks, but it’s one of the reasons planners are so employable outside advertising these days; because this is how most media/communications businesses operate. Teams have ideas. Teams do strategy. Teams do execution. And knowing how to make that happen and how to swarm all over that process makes you very valuable."
Rusell's site also includes a post with interesting observations (as well as comments from other planners) about the intersection of planning and blogging - a critical link becasue blogging is the very essence of successful planning:
"My first thought is that blogging (or whatever it evolves into) is going to be a core planning skill very soon. I think I'd be very reluctant to hire anyone who didn't have a blog. (If I was hiring. And I'm not so don't ask.) It teaches you all sorts of good stuff - precis, collaboration, generousity. And it's a really useful communications skill for the kind of distributed businesses we're all likely to be living in."
Let all of this be a rallying cry for planning to help inspire the rest of the world, and to persuade the world to use blogging to work and connect!