Saturday, April 26, 2008

Is speed gathering momentum?

Image from macronin47

We’ve been banging on about the value of speed since the day we started work on our business plan.

The people responsible for bottom lines would cheer. The high priests of creativity and planning prognostication would nod politely and back slowly towards the exit.

Never mind that some of the most dazzling examples of imagination are premised exactly on speed. (Groundlings, Second City, Upright Citizen’s Brigade et al.)

Forget that speed is seen as a premium in so many other categories, from automobiles to freight services to internet access.

How about these for some other heartening reference points?

First of all, a formative piece from my friend Lisa Seward, that asks 'Can faster be better?'

And now, none other than the IPA, the UK’s equivalent to the 4A’s, is conducting a conference entitled Fast Strategy this coming Monday.

Here are the details. Cast your eyes upon the subjects to be discussed, and the quality of the people discussing them:

How can you come up with the right strategy fast? A selection of Adland’s finest will be giving practical advice on how to achieve this at the IPA and Times Media Strategy Conference on Monday 28th April.
Speakers will include:
- Tim Lindsay, President, TBWA Group: 'How taking the disruption approach can help you get to the right answer fast.'
- Tim Hames, Assistant Editor & Chief Leader Writer, The Times: 'What planners can learn from those that write the news and the pressures of doing it fast and accurately.'
- Gurdeep Puri, Head of Effectiveness, and Janey Bullivant, Board Planning Director, Leo Burnett: 'How, counter to popular belief, data can help you to get to the answers fast'.
- Jon Wilkins, Founder, Naked: 'Fast strategy in a media environment'.
- Stuart Smith, Head of Planning, Wieden & Kennedy London: 'Strategic and creative dovetailing - Fast'.
- Rob Forshaw, Founding Partner, Grand Union: 'How to develop thinking quickly from a digital perspective'.
These short, sharp and fast presentations will be presented throughout the morning, whilst leading communications consultant Mark Earls; Phil Georgiadis, Chairman of Walker Media; Johnny Hornby, Founding Partner of CHI & Partners, and their respective teams, will be putting into practice what they do best and responding to a highly realistic but fictitious COI brief, set and delivered by Peter Buchanan, Deputy Chief Executive, COI.
You, the audience, will then get the opportunity to vote for who you think is the fastest strategist in town, when these three teams return to the stage in the afternoon to pitch live in front of the audience.
Says Guy Murphy, Chairman IPA Strategy Group and Worldwide Planning Director, JWT, “The most important skill that strategists need to learn in this era is speed. The quality of a strategic answer is now partly determined by the time taken to create it. Slow-baked strategy, no matter how good, can never be great.”
The conference will take place between 9am-5pm on Monday 28th April at the Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street, London, W1G 0AE.

Could it be speed is finally moving from ‘enemy of great’ to ‘definition of great’?

(Special thanks to digicynic for bringing my attention to this gathering.)

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