Planning-ness, it’s special!

September 16, 2014

The seventh edition of the Planning-ness “unconference” took place last Thursday and Friday in Portland, Oregon and two of our strategists, Jeremy Duhamel and John Pankert participated. To learn more about this event, TP1 had the pleasure of interviewing Planning-ness founder, Mark Lewis, early last week.

So Planning-ness is an event for strategists, creatives and anyone else who enjoys a good challenge and getting their hands dirty. The founder is unequivocal on this point: the most important thing is that participants learn how to make something during these two days. Therefore, each work session started with an hour of theory, followed by an hour of application. Here’s a breakdown of TP1’s experience at Planning-ness 2014 and, we hope, an inspiring invitation to attend the 2015 edition in Toronto.

In two days, Jeremy and John…

  • Made a sales pitch to an investor from Redpoint, a venture capital firm, presenting the concept for an organic restaurant supported by business partners from all four corners of North America.
  • Defined the cornerstones of a new start-up by innovating their company’s mission, vision and values. The mentor for this exercise was none other than Natin Khanna, founder of Saber Corporation, one of the largest providers of technological tools to state governments.
  • Learned that it’s impossible to expect every company employee to be a “sales rep”. However, each employee must have a feeling for sales in order to be aware when opportunities arise.
  • Played with LED lights, solderless plates, multi-coloured cables and switches in order to build an electronic circuit. This exercise was monitored by senior UX designer and strategist, Robert Gallup.
  • Experimented with vedic meditation and repeated a mantra to achieve the state of flow that facilitates creativity and stimulates productivity.
  • Looked for different ways to use common sources of information, such as social media and Google search. This was an effort to rethink how these sources are used and, ultimately, try to better understand how ordinary people approach these sources.
  • Did conflict resolution exercises based on techniques that inspire “insightful solutions”, such as changing mental attitudes, reframing the problem and seeing it from another perspective.

At the end of Plannin-ness, don’t expect to walk away with the miracle solution to all your problems. What you do take away with you is a new set of tangible skills that will serve you well when confronted with a future problem that needs solving. It may take a week, six months or even a year, but at the precise moment it hits, you’ll remember what you learned during those two days in September!

Photo : Jeremy Duhamel