Saturday, December 31, 2011


In the coming year I am going to try and publish more of what transpires through pictures. To start, this great shot of my Grandfather c.1964 recently scanned and emailed to me by my sister.

Happy New Year

My wife received this email this morning from a friend down under and it tickled me somewhat, for numerous reasons. Enjoy!

"I wanted to send some sort of holiday greeting to my friends and colleagues, but it is difficult in today's world to know exactly what to say without offending someone. So I met with my lawyer yesterday, and on her advice I wish to say the following:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non addictive, gender neutral celebration of the summer solstice holiday practiced with the most enjoyable traditions of religious persuasion or secular practices of your choice with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2012, but not without due respect for the calendar of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make our country great (not to imply that New Zealand is necessarily greater than any other country) and without regard to the race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms:

This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/him or others and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. The wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.

Best Regards ( without prejudice )

Name withheld ( Privacy Act ).

Monday, September 19, 2011

Planner Survey - 2011 Results

A huge thank you once again to Heather LeFevre for publishing the results of the 7th annual Planning Survey Report. You can find the 2011 findings here.

Every year this work increases in value to the planning community, but Heather does not do this alone so thanks should also go to Julia Lee (@hellojulialee), Willem van der Horst (@hippowill), Bori Toth (@boribora), Megan Averell (@meggatron), Yuliani Setiadi (@JuliaBanana) and Ayden Abdine, designer (@ayden_a). Thank you all for helping to give us such a useful, good looking product. Follow them all Twitter and say thanks for the effort.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Planner Survey 2011

The 2011 Planner Survey is out. This is a brilliant resource for everyone in the planning world, particularly if you are responsible for recruiting.

Click here link to the survey. And if you want to sign up to receive the results, click here.

Do take the time to take part. It really is useful for everyone.


Saturday, April 02, 2011


I feel compelled to share this with everyone, for those moments when the day seems a bit crap, or the week is not going as you wanted, or life just seems a tiny bit, rubbish. Watch this, and it will soon put everything back into perspective and help buck your ideas up. This is my old school mate Jim, raising awareness for the work of the Spinal Injury Association (a UK charity). He's the first European paraplegic to have swum the English Channel. He crossed The Strait of Dover, which is one of the busiest stretch of water in the world and somewhere in the region of 21 miles, in 14 hours. Amazing guts, amazing courage. But then he always has been like that.

And he was interviewed on the telly as well!

What a reminder, if you needed one, that we only have one body, one life. So live it to the full. And look after yourself. Get yourself down the gym, take a walk, go for a swim and appreciate all the freedom of mobility you have. It's never stopped Jim getting on with it.

I always remember when he was in the spinal unit of Salisbury hospital and a few of us used to visit him and take him out for a beer and a laugh on occasion. He always asserted that he was still Jim, only a few feet shorter. To me it's always been a pretty good definition of the term inspirational.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Stick To Your Convictions

It's been a while since I have written anything here (except for the last couple of posts of course!) The on-going rise of Twitter and Facebook as the place to share a quick morsel has relegated the blog to an occasional plaything. I've also been kinda busy with work and family which has made writing anything a challenge.

I hope to turn my attention at work to skills in my teams over the coming months (I know, hope isn't a strategy), and the use of the great and talented resources we've recruited over the last couple of years. I know I have been distracted on this as one of my duties lately.

It's making me look at my philosophies and beliefs when it comes to running a world class strategic planning group. I have for a long time believed, for instance, that plannerly types need to have a diversity of brands and categories to work on at the same time or in close proximity.

Not too many mind you.

I've found three to be about the maximum (more or less depending upon experience and energy of the person). My experience tells me this is stimulating for the individual and adds value to clients, as outside experiences and strategic points of view are brought to the table.

This was reinforced again for me recently. I have a group of planners who are, for business and culture reasons, dedicated to one single category (which is the opposite to this philosophy but a battle I lost some time ago). Some of the team have been doing this for a while now. A senior planner in that team was recently struggling to develop a strategic solution despite having worked on something for a long time and after having done more than enough research. It was clear that due to the 'focus' on the one category, this planner had lost the ability to see the wood for the trees, and during that time was not adding value to the client or our business. With a little help from others not working in the category, we were able to get through this fairly quickly.

It's not been an isolated instance of late but it is a good example of the need to be able to work in different categories and contexts during the same week to stimulate and spice things up. I am convinced that if this planner also had responsibility for another category they would not have struggled so much. They'd have been able to walk away, think about something else and then return to the original problem renewed and able to draw from a different experience.

What do you think? Focus or some variety? What's your experience tell you?

It has renewed this conviction in me but it's a philosophical perspective that I now regret compromising on. I can't remember the context of the time when this happened now, but I must have had my reasons for yielding on my convictions.

So moving forward, I need a new plan. Something that will create the same (or similar) effect, allows the tem to grow and keeps the peace!

Thus, whatever your convictions may be, stick to them. Easier in the long run.

Friday, February 18, 2011

No Right Brain Left Behind

Very sad that I was too busy (what kind of excuse is that?) to get involved. Just too much going on. Frank and team doing a fabulous thing for a worthy cause.

If you did participate, bravo. I tip my hat to you.

Be Infectious. The Integer Creative Vision.

The creative department at Integer Denver (which is a very large community of people by any agency standards, anywhere in the world) has spent a long time working out how to articulate internal vision.

As part of where they ended up they produced this small film to celebrate the differences and interestingness of creative people.

Me, I likey a lot. I think you will too. It's not only inspirational, it's empowering.

It's still a very cool place to call home.