Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The Straight and Narrow

About twenty years ago, I sat with my Planning colleagues at Saatchis on one of those Awaydays where you reinvent Planning. We had some great ideas - we were going to dispense with going through linear processes and running round in circles, or cycles, and the Brave New World was going to be Quantum Planning. Great in theory, but I suspect that, a couple of decades later, most young Planners at Saatchi - or anywhere else - will still be able to draw you a Planning Cycle but may draw a blank at the suggestion of Quantum Planning.

Maybe we could have done with this new book: No Straight Lines - Making sense of our non-linear world by Alan Moore. I haven't launched into this "book" yet - of which more later - but what I've seen so far promises to be visionary: a new organisational, social and economic model based on a more human-centric, participatory society. Less about process, hierarchy and straight lines and more about networks, humanity and sustainability.

What is particularly interesting is how the "book" presents itself - as a read/write book that is described as both personal and collaborative. "No Straight Lines" is a idea, a way of thinking, which can be discussed, experienced, disputed, built-on, applied and so on through communities and workshops as well as "book" media.

It does sound as if it's worth looking into. But I do sometimes wonder why Quantum Planning never caught on. Maybe the answer is that sometimes you just want to get from A to B. And the best way is along a straight line.

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