How to do great planning faster, more independently and in a shifting world

This is a course for accomplished planners from whom more and more is demanded.

Because, is it just us or have you had to work a lot faster and much harder of late? We think you might need some help with this.

Surely, quite recently, you were given a few weeks to come up with something good but now need to serve up a planning gem in a few days (or even hours)?

And a lot of your old tools and methods – research projects, support staff, in depth studies – now seem to be unaffordable or just not possible to schedule in.

And what happened to the days when your job was about writing a couple of brilliant briefs a year, helping a few creative teams get the work out and pulling together a deck or two to sell it all in to the client? Now you are probably working with an ever-widening cast of characters, with a “360 real time media plan” (or whatever) and a client who wants something new every week.

Maybe, as a Strategist, to keep on doing good work you have had to become ever more agile.

So, in our new two-day “Agile Strategist” interactive training course we are going to show you how to do great planning but do it faster, more independently and in shifting, complex environments with a wider range of colleagues and clients.

The Agile Strategist : Four New Skill Areas

In two packed days, we will train you up in the 4 new “superpowers” that we believe an Agile Strategist needs.

We don’t intend these 4 new skills to replace your well-honed planning craft skills but rather we offer them as a new set of skills to be stacked on top of them. So, we aim to leave you turbo-charged : the same great planner you always were but tooled up to do your stuff faster, more independently and with a broader set of colleagues and clients.

1. Boot Strapper | You will learn how to get things going faster with fewer resources.

Skills taught:

  • 4 instant insight tools
  • Use of free data such as Google trends and academic articles
  • The joy of small data
  • Accessing your own back catalogue
  • Coming back to paper and people

2. Creative Dynamo | You will learn how to generate big ideas, small ideas, lots of ideas, at any time you need them.

Skills taught:

  • The quantity method
  • The A-Z method
  • The “steal with pride” method
  • How to bring out your inner creative “devil”
  • How to make ideas easy to buy: alliteration, rhyme, triplets and rhythm as techniques

3. Arch Persuader | You will learn how to sell thinking internally, externally, to clients, to partners, to anyone to keep the idea alive and growing.

Skills taught:

  • The 50 street selling skills and how they build on each other
  • Quick models and reliable frameworks that sell
  • Post-rationalizing with data, psychology and logic

4. Ego Ninja | You will learn when to push and when to bend; when to lead, when to follow.

Skills taught

  • Understanding and checking your ego
  • Noticing and managing your emotions
  • Listening to “the market of ideas”
  • The art of the U-turn
  • How to keep the flame alive when all seems lost
  • What is “True North” for you?

Course Tutor

The course convener is Jon Leach who despite starting as a planner in 1984 still works as a jobbing planner to this day. He was initially trained at BMP in London (the joint home of classic planning, alongside JWT), was re-trained by the radicals at HHCL in the 90’s, survived both the dot-com crash of the early 2000s and the rise of Web 2.0 in the late 2000’s. Since then he has continued to work as a planner at Chime Communications with all sorts of digital, public relations, design and sports marketing agencies. Alongside this he has worked with most of London’s Top 20 advertising agencies as a trainer of planners, account handlers and creatives.


Some recent delegate feedback:

“Really useful practical information and technique’s grounded in Jon’s own personal working style and experiences. Very useful, really engaging, well thought through. Great advice.” LF, AMV BBDO

“It has been illuminating and challenging in the best way possible. This is definitely the most interesting, fun and useful course I have ever done. It’s the perfect blend of theory and practice. Jon is a brilliant, inspiring and thought-provoking instructor.”  RZ, WCRS (Marketing and Advertising Agency)

“Excellent course. Every technique and skill learnt was brilliant and invaluable. Felt very open to discussion even as a younger/less experienced member of the group.” RS, The Bank

“I found it very affirmative, very stimulating and gave me lots of tools and insights to take into my role, work and even the running of the agency (by being able to distil complex ideas about the agency to the team).”  RW, Across the Pond (Content Production Agency)



Price: $1,500 for APG members,  $1,800 for non-member – please contact Ed Caffyn, to purchase tickets

Dates: Two day course, Tuesday, October 17th and Wednesday, October 18th, 9-5pm

Venue: TBD, Toronto


About Andrew Carty

Andrew Carty has written 12 post in this blog.

Cofounder and Partner, Strategy @ send+receive