Planning by Numbers

I hear so many complaints these days from all walks of life that essential elements of doing a good job – from personal contact and discussion with colleagues to thorough problem-solving thought – have been taken over by form-filling.

And often the completion of a form means “job done” – end of story. To used that horrible phrase, all the boxes have been ticked.

In the marketing world, there have always been companies who have been more keen on forms and templates than others, but the disease seems to be rampant.

The internet is packed with templates and forms to “enable” you to write a marketing plan, or a communications strategy, or whatever.

And for most of these, you just need to follow the template, copy and paste your own info and – job done.

I’d like to see less dumping and more thinking. More small groups of people sitting in a room together and working out an overall structure. Less delegating of “OK, you guys do Section 3.1.4 to 55.6.3″ and more discussion as to the overall picture.

And, once that part of the job is done, to put it into action while there’s still time – and stick to it.

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