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How about that for a blog post title eh?
Yes, I know I’m inviting trouble so let’s get all the possible horrible answers out of the way first, shall we.
It’s not because we both …
Think we’re better than everyone else.
Oh no, in fact, if last week you’d asked me if there was any similarity between politicians and planners, I’d of wholeheartedly said no, and then I saw this …
Sure, I get the first bit sounds more like a ‘futurist’ than a planner, but the second bit sounds way too familiar for planners.
As I’ve said before, being a futurist must be an awesome gig, because at the end of the day, they can spout any old nonsense about what they claim will happen in 20 years time and then sit back in total smugness knowing they can either use the old, “you can’t say I’m wrong until 20 years time” excuse or just wait and wait and wait, knowing that in all likelihood, at some point in the future, it might happen and then they can claim they were right all along.
I swear Nostradamus was actually the village idiot.
When people saw him, they’d probably cross the road because they didn’t want to have to put up with his mental mutterings, that he shouted and scrawled on walls and books.
And then – hundreds of years later – some historian comes across his bollocks and post rationalises it with developments and evolutions of the modern day and he’s instantly lauded as a futurist genius.
Same with Da Vinci.
Everyone goes on about how he ‘foresaw’ the helicopter.
Have you seen what he did? It’s this …
Doesn’t look much like a bloody helicopter to me.
If anything, it looks more like an elaborate sun lounger/shade umbrella than a device that can take flight … but in the interests of having a legacy that isn’t based purely on the rubbish of this blog, I here-by declare that at some point in the future, we will be able to open a carton of milk without ripping the sides and the World will stop buying Coldplay albums.
I know that all sounds unlikely, but just you wait and I will happily go down in history as a visionary.
But this isn’t about the people who just proclaim the future, this is about the people who then explain why it didn’t happen.
From politicians to clairvoyants to planners, it never fails to amaze me how there is always a reason for why something ‘didn’t happen’. If I were a cynic – which obviously I’m not, because I’m a big ray of sunshine – I’d say we all operate in the field of ‘calculated hope’ or more accurately, ‘disassociative blame’ … because when it buggers up, it’s always someone else’s fault.
Whether it’s the client, the culture, the economy … whatever … it always sounds like we say we were absolutely right, but some unexpected force – or some terrible decision out of our hands – had a critical influence in fucking-up the master plan.
And it happens a ridiculous amount of the time.
Don’t get me wrong, there are many things that can affect results – from clients trying to dictate how to approach the challenge they’ve set you to society having this thing called ‘a brain’ that results in them doing what they want to do, not what you want them to want to do – however our ability to explain why something hasn’t worked, and to blame it on others actions and decisions – seems to know no bounds which not only is ridiculous, but actively contributes to why business doesn’t trust us and that has massive implications on what/how we can do things in the future.
To do something wrong is OK.
Things happen … things change … things fuck up.
However, regardless of the outcome, if you want to continually invest in your reputation and effectiveness, there are 3 questions you should always ask yourself at the end of every bit of work you have done …
1. Were your intentions done for the right reasons?
2. Did you consider all the key factors that needed to be considered?
3. Have you accepted and learnt from what you did – personally and as a group – that contributed to things not going as you planned/hoped?
… because as JFK said so succinctly:
“An error doesn’t become a mistake unless you refuse to correct it”.
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