jason oke

If you’re not in awe, you’re not paying attention.

Depeche planning

This coming Monday April 28th, join the worldwide Planning for Good breatheren for a really cool experiment. Recently, a topic of much discussion has been fast strategy: given today a brand’s speed to market and speed of reaction to events is a big advantage, the need for strategists to be able to generate good ideas faster, with fewer resources, has become a key part of the job. Richard, in typical fashion, has a call to arms on the subject.

On Monday, the UK’s main advertising body, the IPA, is holding a conference on fast strategy. And as part of that, they’re having a live strategy bake-off with some of the UK’s biggest names competing. The contestants will be briefed and given a couple of hours to generate a strategy against a difficult UK government public service brief. PFG’s own lovely and talented Mark Earls is one of the participants. And he’d like to call on the assembled global PFG masses to help. Mark will post the brief online and over the course of 2 hours, we can all help in generating a solution.

The catch is this all happens on London time, so in some parts of the world that may mean getting up early or staying up late.  The brief will be posted at 10am London time (that’s 5am EST, 4am CST, and 2am PST in North America), and responses need to be in 2 hours later by 12pm London time. 

You must be a member of PFG to particpate so if you haven’t already, join up here

If you’re interested in joining Mark’s global planning army, shoot me an email – my address is under the “contact me” tab at the top of the page. And if you want more details on the IPA event, Ed Cotton has a full write up over at Influx.

This should be really fun.

Filed under: planning, planning for good

The herd at poolside

I’m on vacation right now (hence the recent lack of posts) but was sitting by the pool at my hotel the other day and noticed something funny – some Herd/Duncan Watts behaviour in action.

The pool attendant brought out a cart of new towels, and I watched various people come up and grab them. The first person chose a towel from the second pile from the left in the middle rack.  As you can see, almost everyone afterwards chose from the same pile. A few people changed it up by taking one from the piles immediately on either side. A brave handful chose from the piles immediately above and below – and the rest of the piles, more than half of them, remained untouched.

Even though Mark and Duncan’s arguments are very persuasive, sometimes I find the idea of trendsetters and key influencers to be hard to let go, because it makes intuitive sense and has become so ingrained in the conventional wisdom.

But all of the arguments about influencers and trendsetters kind of fall flat when I see an example as simple as this one. Was there something inherently cool about that particular pile of towels? Was there something aspirational about that first person who chose from that pile?

Two things to conclude: people just like doing the same thing that other people are doing. And I’m a geek who really should relax more on vacation.

Filed under: planning, Trends

Fortune cookie wisdom, part II

Hard to argue with this. And it’s advice I sorely needed to hear. Funny how that works.

Filed under: words of wisdom


This Friday it’s time for another Likemind.  If you’re in Toronto, come on by.

Breakfast, beverages, conversation, and good times.

Over Easy, 208 Bloor Street West.

Friday April 18, 8:00am.

Filed under: Coffee, likemind

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