Sunday, 15 March 2015

Lost for words

Leaving Elgin Station

You know, I was on the Scotrail express to Aberdeen last week when someone suddenly engaged me in conversation, seeking my advice about a career in planning. He had recognised me instantly of course and as an expert planner, I was happy to help a young planner at a formative stage in his life.

This young man worked for a well-known local authority in the area - let's call it Moray Council to calm idle speculation - and was concerned that his career had stalled. He asked me two questions:
  1. How can I became famous and well respected like you?
  2. How can I learn to write like Nikola Miller of the RTPI and the Scottish Planner?
Well the answer to the first question is inevitably a mixture of innate talent, being in the right place at the right time but most importantly, having a distinctive voice in the marketplace. "The marketplace?" he asked. "Yes of course" I replied. "Everything is a marketplace these days. Just look at your own Council with its internal market, departments charging other departments to come to their meetings and of course charging the public for wanting to do anything! That's a great move! In a similar way, my success as an expert planner is due to my position in the marketplace. I'm in demand as a public speaker because of my lovely wee blog which receives thousands of hits every week. Now I may not be able to charge the same as Tory grandee Malcolm Rifkind but I will at least get a Greggs sausage roll and a cup of tea. And just like Jim Murphy I always claim everything on expenses."

"So what about my writing skills - how can I get myself in the Scottish Planner?" he asked. "How can I be like Nikola Miller?"

"Well I'll let you into a little secret” I said. "I always try to memorise around 100 important words or phrases that I can join together - often randomly - to make up paragraphs of impressive sounding texts. Using this technique you can impress many people and importantly, build a useful barrier between yourself as a professional and members of the public who won't know what you are talking about. This is an ideal situation in which many planners shine - but I am exemplary".

"Let's set ourselves a little task shall we? Before we get to Aberdeen I will compile three paragraphs describing my important work at Auchterness." This is what I wrote.

At Auchterness we are unique and one of a kind - leading, legendary, proactive, best in class, scalable, empowering, targeted and ground-breaking. Our vision statement is a secret sauce made from low hanging fruit.  Moving forward, we sense-check and explore league tables, massaging their revolutionary feel-good factors to reinforce not only our award-winning and innovative solutions but also, to seamlessly transform POI and breakthrough savvy into a robust user-friendly cloud of leveraged and sustainable best practice. This satisfies our client structures and content providers. Our next generation state-of the-art dynamism is world class and cutting edge. Auchterness is simply the smartest and most flexible real-time premier provider of leading innovation in Europe - if not in the World!

A market-leading, turnkey, mission critical strategic partnership with a ground-breaking dashboard and iconic stakeholders, Auchterness is now an industry standard with a never-before-re-purposed ecosystem. It's a win-win, best of breed position of empowerment with enterprise-class synergy straight out of the box. It is a magical and feature-rich, cross-platform value proposition well positioned to disrupt the stack and hit the ground running.

Moving forward, our mindshare bleeding-edge space-age exit strategy is customer-centric and will ensure a sea-change paradigm-shift outside the box. With sticky synergistic client-centric peak performance, Auchterness is creating the perfect storm of next-gen organic growth which combines top down silo thinking with bottom up never-been-done before solution-driven uniqueness.

"That is fantastic Mr Thompson - thank you for this insight into the mindset of the expert planner. Truly you are one of our Nation's great thought leaders". And so another problem solved and another young man sent happily on his way to a glistening career in planning.

That's all from Auchterness for now. Sorry to have been so slow in publishing new articles this year but we have been very busy. I will get back into my stride soon. Remember, you can always drop in for a wee chat and a biscuit any time you are passing.  Cheeriebye for now!