Planning in the Tenth Dimension

One of the challenges of planning is enforcing a linear overlay on your ideas. It is as if your campaign commences and then a whole bunch of magic occurs around some stimulus and then your campaign ends (with whoops and cheers hopefully). In this scenario, we focus on individuals or “personas” and attempt to create a change in their behaviour – we want them to give consideration to our product, purchase our service or subscribe to our newsletter etc.

Mark Hancock suggests, however, that we need to move away from this approach – to begin looking at emergent behaviour:

I believe that we will stop thinking about trying to change behavior at the individual level and more about how to influence positive emotional responses through the creation of shared interactions.

This correlates nicely with a conversation I had with Katie Chatfield recently. What we need to do is to plan for a multiplicity of outcomes and design our interactions around enabling these to occur in simultaneous streams – like a waterfall. After all, we never really know which idea will catch fire in a community – and I would argue that it doesn’t matter which idea DOES. The important thing is to make sure you are ready to fan the flames. 

2 thoughts on “Planning in the Tenth Dimension

  1. Gav – Absolutely agree with this. This ties in with a lot of the complexity stuff – e.g.
    A common creed of complex approaches to change is that you can’t really plan outcomes. You have to try multiple experiments and then reinforce what works and stop what doesn’t. You often can’t predict what will work (altho afterwards people will claim they did) and what won’t.
    As you say this makes listening & responding quickly & appropriately very important.

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