3 Life Lessons for Planners

>> Monday, December 14, 2009

I met Megan Murray when she was a student in my Corporate Branding seminar at NYU: Megan was so far and away the most interesting student in class that I was shocked to learn she was still an undergraduate! Megan graduated from NYU this last Wednesday, and we invited her to join us at Saatchi Wellness for a few weeks to see if Strategic Planning was just as interesting in real life as it was for her in school.

Here’s what she had to say about that – take it away, Megan!

Megan writes:

<<Lesson #1: The bad ideas are (almost) as important as the great ones. Bad ideas are a part of the process, and letting them get you down is far from productive. Sometimes it takes establishing the worst idea possible to begin to move in the right direction (far, far away). Working through a strategy becomes much easier with the understanding that not every idea will succeed. A million frustrating failures can lead you to the message that solves the equation. Getting there, no matter how steep the path, is what matters in the end.

Lesson #2: Know your strengths. A great creative team will sell your strategy better than you could ever imagine. Letting your mind wander into the world of hypothetical creative executions takes you away from your real strength. Spend your energy developing a great message and trust your creative team to hit it out of the park.

Lesson #3: Metaphors… use them! This may be my favorite lesson of all. In the classroom, we strive to make our strategies clear, direct, specific, and succinct. We spend our energy “getting to the point” and waste no time “dancing around it.” But the best communication may involve doing this dance after all. Learning to find the right metaphors for an idea or experience bridges gaps in rational understanding – and is invaluable for communicating deeper emotional messages. A strategy is only as strong as it is deep - if a message can’t get there, it gets lost in the clutter around us.

Like the adrenaline that sends you flying at the beginning of a race, my first weeks here have been exhilarating. I can only hope the lessons I’ve learned stay with me forever, and propel me through the rest of a hopefully, very exciting career.>>

Hope this finds you well!



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