Be more than just a magpie.
To quote a great planner I spoke to recently, “It’s all about connecting the dots, mate!”
When I first started out in planning, I was like a magpie. Magpies constantly collect shiny, interesting objects. Like a magpie, I was constantly searching for new and interesting things in the world - Things such as emerging trends, products, brands and ads. But I just wasn’t connecting the dots.
One of the most important things I’ve learnt is that you need to dig much deeper than that! There are always going to be shiny, interesting things out there in the world. Shiny things aren’t hard to find. Anyone can do that.
Our job as planners is to dig deeper and understand what they actually mean. We need to understand the cultural significance of them. We need to understand why they are emerging, and how and why they are connected to other ‘shiny’ things.
It’s just so easy to be a magpie and look for shiny things with no real understanding of what they mean. But proper planning is all about connecting the dots in seemingly disconnected ideas in order to create something truly brilliant.