Sir Ken shapes the agenda

Posted by on Aug 6, 2007 in Uncategorized | No Comments


First up in the AAAAs San Diego gig is a surprise success for the committee. Sir Ken Robinson – educationalist and creativity expert – gave the first talk (and yes it was a talk and not a pitch or a powerpoint show) from the mainstage (as a last minute replacement for the scheduled speaker. What a talk it was…

Along the way he challenged us to rethink how many senses we have, how diverse and distributed our intelligence(s) is/are and – just as he did on his TED talk – how creativity is our most important skill going forward (even though our organisations and ways of thinking about them do their best to squeeze it out).

Perhaps his most memorable thought was this: just as Al Gore plots the external change in our climate, so we need to acknowledge the underlying change in our cultures and economy that is going on (thanks to a combination of technology and demographics) and start shaping oru response to it for good or ill. We’ve got to look at our human assets and capabilities as a priority in the future and not just throught the existing mechanistic frames we use now:

“the problem is not that we’ve set the bar too high and failed but that we’ve set the bar too low and succeeded”

Creating possibilities, he said, is what it’s all about. Harnessing our ability to reinvent continuously and systematically (not just once a decade or an an annualised strat planning basis). All very HERD, I must say.

Think this thought chimes very closely with the new emerging agenda I noted in my previous post. I hope so…. could make for very interesting times. Made me think again of what one old chum mentioned to me last night: there are probably only 25 folk in the country who could really rethink a brand and turn it around and more and more of them are now living outside the agency world.

Final thought on Ken: it’s very humbling to those of us who have to speak after him to watch him perform. How could any one match up to Sir Ken’s urbane, witty and yet self-deprecating style? (Answers on a postcard please).