Strategy and Sausages:
A British Strategic Planner in Germany
Tuesday, 5 August 2014
Carry on Camping
When I started in the advertising business, the military metaphors held sway, whether we were talking strategy and targeting, or training, or even how we were going to build our dream battalion, sorry, team. People got sent on "Bootcamps" and who can forget the horror of paintball games dreamed up to help us work better together?
These days, things are very different. The new metaphor for brands and business seems to be heading in the direction of a festival, rather than a war. Here's a great example of what I mean: The Happy StartUp Summer Camp, which takes place from the 19th -21st Sept near East Grinstead, Sussex, UK. 3 days of learning, inspiration and play are promised, with not a paintball gun in sight. No military types here, just thinkers, doers and makers. The programme looks like a dictionary of current buzzwords - digital detox, camping or glamping, yoga, DJs and live music, craft ales, mindfulness, empathy, storytelling, happiness with awesomeness sprinkled liberally in between.
It's all set up by an outfit called The Happy StartUp School who are on a mission to help people start businesses that have a purpose beyond profits, which seems a pretty good reason for being to me. I haven't read them yet, but they are generous enough to provide a couple of useful-looking downloads about all those "P" things - people, purpose, profits and piranhas (or maybe I got that wrong!)
I suppose the cynical amongst us could look at this and say that it doesn't pay the bills at the end of the day and that in twenty years we'll find the idea of grinning kidults having a midnight feast in an overgrown teddy bears' picnic as absurd as all the wannabe Rambos paintballing each other.
But, I don't know. I find it curiously appealling, especially the price, which is less than half of what you'd pay for an "average, boring business conference". And there are still a few places left.
When I was little, I wanted to be a spy. I got off to a good start, studying Psychology at Trinity College, Cambridge but somehow got side-tracked into the wonderful world of advertising and marketing.
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