Saturday, 17 April 2010

David & Goliath

Somebody on the Linkedin Planners page asked a question.

"Do you need a British accent to be a good planner?"

For fun I answered it. So this is a cut and paste job from last night though I'm even more pleased that I found a Carravagio to portray the drama.

The answer is no, but it helps. A better question would be why do British planners do so well? London is the home of planning so there's some heritage equity there. The accent has some Hollywood stereotypes. Villainous, Effete or Intellectual. All three help. Then there's the way the accent commands attention. I once read a script to a C Suite in Germany and the CEO said 'shit that sounds so much better in English'. 

But the real value of a British accent. And this is my hypothesis after watching American Planners in action, is that we have a pattern of inadvertently telling the unpalatable truth. One only needs to say Should George Bush be up for war crimes? Do Corporations commit ecocide? Are sales the only benchmark for great advertising? and there's a collective bowel movement around the meeting table. 

By the time the speccy Brit has shuffled out the room; maybe, just maybe, someone switched-on recognises it's not all about saying awesome all the time but about being a bit uncomfortable. 

Eternal optimism does indeed rock. But rock throwing is eternal. 

Ask David. 

Fuck it. Ask Goliath.