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How Not to Use How Not to Plan - A Review by Malcolm White

My first planning boss always skewered the ill-thought out, or the just plain wrong, with a piercing ‘bollocks’ or a ‘bullshit’, followed by a dissection of why the bollocks was indeed bollocks and the bullshit was indubitably so. She would then wrap this all up in a beaming smile, completely disarming her protagonist. I’ve always wished I could be like her.

I need wish no longer thanks to Sarah and Les’ wonderful book. They’ve even supplied the ‘bollocks’ and the ‘bullshit’ (I counted at least three).

How do I know my wishes have come true? Well just yesterday, I unleashed their ‘How not to deal with alienation’ (Chapter 5) on an over-anxious client. It worked. I was transformed from a deeply unimpressive equivocator into, well, Sarah and Les; two of the finest thinkers on planning, communications and marketing that you could ever hope to meet.

I hope my shameless shape-shifting is exactly what Sarah (described by a CSO I know as having the ‘sexiest mind in the industry’) and Les (who put the sex into econometrics) envisaged when they expressed their hopes for their book: ‘we don’t want it to be clever. We just hope that it’s useful.’


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