Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fast strategy from the gut

IF has listed some some hot tips from Adliterate writer and planner Richard Huntington.

I fundementally, wholeheartedly and enthusiastically agree with Richard's point that great strategy is about having an opinion and point of view. So often, there is this unsaid assumption that we are required to find the "right" answer - this is an impossibility. Doing so, is looking for a prescriptive truth that can never be proven. Input from others can be valuable, but in the end it's just their opinions we are seeking. Right or wrong? Who knows? What does your gut say?

Here's Richard's hot tips.

1. Time is not the problem in creating strategy, ideas are. If you can find an idea the time will find itself.
2. Ideas first, facts second. Facts only make sense in the light of an idea.
3. There are only two criteria for judging your creative strategies - are they simple and are they interesting.
4. It is vital to be interesting, it is merely important to be right.
5. If you look in the same place as everyone else you will never find something interesting, no matter how clever you are.
6. Every great solution comes from a great problem. Make sure you understand the problem behind the problem that you are trying to solve.
7. Anything and everything can help you. Take a walk and think about how every shop, sign, ad, conversation and observation might help you solve the problem.
8. Be prepared. Keeping reading the weird shit.
9. Keep your focus on finding out the things you didn’t know you didn’t know.
10. Call upon your latent strategies, the strategies that you have always wanted to use but have never had the chance.
11. Remember that the stale strategic idea of one category is the ground breaking step forward in another.
12. Jam with other people, online or face to face. But don’t engage that trojan horse of mediocrity, the brainstorm.
13. Ask yourself what the brand’s position might be about the something we all care about.
14. A position is an opinion. We live in an age of conversation and opinions are the lifeblood of all conversations.
15. Plan from within. How do you feel about the brand, category or the wider world? How do you explain your own behaviour? You are not unrepresentative, you live in the same brand landscape as everyone else.
16. Trust your instinct - its the most truthful resource you have.
17. Fast strategy is more about decisiveness than speed. Often we need strategic courage more than haste.

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