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5 lessons from planningness

May 21, 2011

It was great to be one of the 180 people that got to participate in the Planningness event in Minneapolis last week.

Mark Lewis and Claire Grinton, yet again, showed us how to put on an event that combines raw ingredients with the opportunity to turn those ingredients into something useful.

The practical side of Planningness is unique strength and it’s one event where speakers have the opportunity to “work the crowd”- who are willing and highly able.

What did we learn?

1. Planners can work pretty well together- departments should encourage much more of this- real and virtual collaboration.
2. The current “well of knowledge” now contains familiar themes that are in danger of repeating themselves- doing vs. saying, decoding behavior, telling stories are all vital and highly relevant- but they need to be translated in practical apps that can be fitted directly into a planner’s toolkit.
3. Problem identification is a key role that planners can play- it’s needed more than ever and this is knowledge that can be practically applied to real, rather than abstracted solutions.
4. Planning still suffers from many of the issues that have plagued the discipline since its inception-as everyone knows- planning is more about “the planner” than the discipline- but more more work could be done to codify the role and showcase its power.
5. Planners need to be creatives-they need to spend as much time thinking how they are going to tell their story, as finding the story in the first place. What can they make tangible?

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