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Many years ago, I had a detached retina.
It was pretty serious resulting in me needing multiple operations and some rather weird – more obscure – treatments.
After my retina started to look like it would detach for the 4th time, the DR’s started to get even more concerned because they felt it wouldn’t have the capacity to take much more treatment.
In worked a surgeon.
A Harley Street surgeon.
A Harley Street surgeon who was 39 years old.
After having multiple Doctors looking into my eye with all sorts of instruments and then going away and muttering, he walked in, had a look, read my notes and then said,
“He doesn’t need any more treatment, we need to let his eye heal and it will be fine”.
That was it.
After about 10 minutes deliberation, he had come to the conclusion that despite all his colleagues concerns, there was no need to do anything else because the goal would be achieved.
And he was right.
Why am I saying this?
Because sometimes I think planners spend too much time on trying to make everything absolutely perfect.
Perfect for their egos.
Perfect for the clients fears.
Perfect for the creative departments demands.
Don’t get me wrong, you have to have be rigorous in your approach – looking wide as well as deep – and have something that is commercially and creatively interesting and relevant, but when it comes to articulating a particular point of view, my belief is that it’s more important to capture the energy and momentum of the strategy/idea than necessarily identifying the ultimate choice of words.
Of course, in a perfect World, you’d have both … but when you work in a mixed culture office and country, the reality is that people will all have slightly different interpretations of words/phrases [based on their particular frames of reference] which means you can end up complicating the the idea rather than liberating it, whereas when you focus on feelings and direction, it tends to connect to more people, in more powerful – and similar – ways.
So next time you get caught up discussing/arguing/deliberating on a particular word – be it in a brief or presentation or anything else – ask yourself whether you’re talking about something that can genuinely trip-up or misdirect the people who need to be inspired by it or whether it’s simply a case of semantics that someone is using an attempt to make themselves look – or feel – better or more important.
For me, momentum has perfection, but perfection doesn’t always have momentum.
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