I’ve chatted to a lot of planners so far this year and gripes about this and that aside, I’ve been struck by how many wanted to talk about what a great and unique job it is. Not always, obviously. And we’re all aware of the exponentially growing demands on planners, and the ever increasing variety of skills we are supposed to demonstrate. But what has struck me forcibly is how infinitely portable the strategy skill set can be and how the power and applicability of creative strategy opens up new possibilities and new ways to apply our skills that simply weren’t available 10 years ago.
So, best job in the world? It may well be, and this year is going to be about making it as stimulating and interesting and inspiring as we can.
In that spirit, we will be re-launching Noisy Thinking for 2024. Expect 10 fiery and fizzing debate events online and in real life, tackling the big questions, looking at both sides of a question and informing you about the stuff you really need to know. We’ll cover pre-testing, and we’ll ask which comes first; creative vs media. We’ll pit ‘brand’ against ‘reputation’ and see what we can learn from political campaigning. We’ll ask if planners really understand culture or just talk a good game. And so on. You get the picture.
We’re also going to do a series called ‘Broaden Your Strategy Skill Set’ with talks by Planners who have taken their brand planning skills into new areas. We’ll ask them what were the key ones, and we’ll get them to tell us how they cross fertilise old and new skills to make new kinds of creative strategy magic.
And we’ll be launching a panel where the title of each event is ‘Ask me anything?’ We have some brave and inspired strategy souls who are able and willing to be grilled. On anything. More on this shortly.
We’re designing a new training programme aimed squarely at new and aspiring Strategy Directors. We’ll round out their skill set so that they can move from do-er to leader and help them make the leap from expertise at craft skills to leading and influencing the thinking, the client and internal teams.
All of these will be set at hugely discounted prices for members. So if your membership needs renewing, now’s the time to do it.
And talking of discounts. At the start of January we launched the hugely popular online, in-your-own-time training course, Creative Strategy in 26 Videos, the APG A-Z with Charlie Snow. If you are taking out block memberships for your team, we will offer one additional FREE place on this programme for every block booking which means you can train more of your younger planners for free.
Finally, a shout-out for a couple of brilliant training courses happening in the next few weeks. And we’ll leave the shouting to delegates who’ve been on these courses and thought they were great.
Nailing Your Strategy with James Caig: Teaches you all the skills to refine your strategy, write brilliant decks and sell your thinking. “I thought the course was excellent. Deeply engaging, well-structured and James was an absolute joy.”
Strategic Management Masterclasses with Craig and Bridget: Turns expert strategists into Strategy leaders with all the management skills that senior planners are never taught. Except here! "What a brilliant course! I learned so much - I'd go so far as to say the most from any course I've been on. And I never once felt like I was being 'taught'. I felt like I was simply having chats and picking up sage advice through conversation and spending time with wiser people than me."
And as always, if you have any ideas or new thoughts about the APG and what we can do for you, just drop me an email and I’ll come straight back.