By Marc Lewis
Sunday Summary SCAB
5th February 2017
As we said goodbye to January, we inched closer to the halfway point of the school year. Three more Portfolio Briefs were due to be handed in before the half term, starting with a deadline on Friday. PB4 was due on Friday.
We found ourselves having ideas killed the day (or two days) before deadline, when we really should have been pushing ahead with craft.
I have adapted the sign-off sheet, introducing new dates and the concept of sign-off points, so as to nudge teams towards getting ideas signed-off with time to spare for craft on PB5 and PB6.
I fear that too many of you have forgotten that no mentor’s feedback is so important that you must change direction on their advice. Remember that everyone is entitled to be wrong, and that the most important voice you will ever hear is your own.
So I hope the changes to the sign-off process make an immediate impact.
We need to learn to use our Red Hat.
John Lowery gave a great master class on Tuesday, showing us the value in facts (despite Gove’s whimpering remarks) over opinions. We need to get better at using our White Hat.
There are 10 days left before the half term break. We start working on D&AD New Blood briefs when we return. We are going to be juggling so many briefs, shared between so many different teams. These past few weeks of working on four PBs, sometimes with different teams has been good practice. But we need to pay more attention to the Blue Hat, because we can’t afford to fall behind on D&AD.
On Thursday, I gave a short talk about Purpose. I firmly believe that one of my students will one day be involved in a campaign that makes such a positive impact on society that the project wins a Nobel Prize. It’s one of my guiding stars.
But this doesn’t mean that we need to force a world saving idea into every brief.
We do need to provide value though, which might be something as useful as saving our customer time or money, or by making them smile, or think.
When you wear the Yellow Hat and struggle to find value, it is possible that you are just creating noise.
On Friday I shared a case study video script that I had written for PB3. Most of us agreed that the act of writing out the script is a good way to test out the stretchiness of an idea. You spoke about it helping to find new ideas.
Had you considered that you might be in Green Hat mode when writing your case study video?
Please remember that I have asked you to try to bring good case study scripts for PB5 to your meetings with Pete on Monday, and for PB6 on Wednesday.
For D&AD, you really want your script written a week or more ahead of deadline.
Finally, I enjoyed helping many of you write Get, To, By statements this week but I was a little bit concerned by how some teams struggled with the idea of writing them by the dozen.
I believe that quantity leads to quality, and that one of the reasons why this happens is that we are more ready to consciously critique our work when we have a wider diversity of potentially right answers.
I can make one of two judgements about a team not pushing forwards with big sticky ideas; either they are bringing out the Black Hat too early in the creative process, when they should only be wearing the Green Hat, thus killing ideas before they even have a chance to develop. Or they rarely bring out the Black Hat and their ideas lack rigour.
Teams with the best ideas seem to be adapt at regularly putting on the Black Hat for short blasts of critical thinking throughout the brief cycle.
See you Monday.