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Hey Russell,

I enjoyed meeting you today when you came into Cunning. Sorry I couldn’t take part in the conversation initially, although I was eavesdropping before I joined the conversation towards the end.

I have to say, I did sort of think to myself, (as I sat doing my timesheets - long story and not worth explaining), I wonder what goes through a man’s head as he sits there conversing with a bunch of strangers eager to discover planning nirvana? Actually it made me smile. And eventually forced me from said timesheets to move in for closer inspection.

Human nature fascinates me particularly group psychology and the forces within groups. I love watching shit like that play out. Really interesting to just observe. It triggered a series of thoughts about how people often look to external things or other people for answers when really they lie within themselves. I tend to think if your mind can generate the questions the chances are they can generate the answers. Sometimes this requires more work and an ability to trust your own point of view.

It’s like knowing your own voice, a bit like what you were saying about a brand having a voice. I liked that. It totally resonated. Such simple stuff. It sounds more like a journalistic expression, which is way I like it. It’s that uniqueness that everyone has. Not just authors, filmmakers and artists. Everyone has a voice. It always amazes me how little people listen to it. Listening, in itself is truly an amazing thing when done properly. I once watched an actors workshop where they developed the power of listening. A big eye opener.

Anyway, I digress. It was refreshing to hear such a paired down simplification of your thoughts on planning. I think everyone got a lot out of it. What I liked most was your take on how to inspire creativity. There doesn’t seem to be enough of that around in ad agencies. Often the relationship between creatives and planners is a bit ropey. It was at TBWA when I was there anyway. Personally I could never understand it. I used to hang out with planners all the time. I was even invited to the IPA Effectiveness awards but then fell asleep through the ceremony (they really need to start using visuals in their power point presentations).

So. Inspiring creatives. Loved that shit. Although it’s fair to say, creatives should be able to inspire themselves. However, creating constraints in briefs to force creatives to look at things differently is not only inspiring but brave. It’s brave because that’s where originality lives and because we don’t always get it right. Having said that, an obstacle is a noble teacher.

Cheers dude.

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