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Forget your years of experience.

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May 15, 2016

Principals

The impact of inexperience

For the last two weeks, the strategy team here at Principals was lucky enough to have Isabelle Gillespie join us as our intern. Isabelle has just completed a Bachelor of design in architecture, sub majoring in marketing and advertising at UTS.

Throughout her time with at Principals Isabelle helped us understand new categories, dived into competitive playing fields, reporting back with diligent enthusiasm. She even analyzed (and sometimes politely denounced) our ideas through the filter of her very capable Gen Y eyes. Crinkling up her nose and confidently declaring, ‘that’s just not cool’, was only countered by the sheer thrill of her eventual ‘cool’ approval.

I’ve sometimes thought that experience can be disadvantageous; and that there’s nothing better than the unshackled thoughts and ideas of someone with none. Our Intern Issy proved this hypothesis undoubtedly true. Her contribution to every task, every job, every conversation and brainstorm was garden-fresh.

Issy’s first task was to define her own personal brand using Principals’ Brand Model as her template. This was, after all, how I first came to understand brand theory. It was the perfect first project. And unsurprisingly, she excelled.

So whilst I hope that Issy has learned some things from us here at Principals. I feel like I should really be thanking her. And not just for all her help. But for reminding me of something I think is an important part of the journey towards writing great strategies: To sometimes stop and simply unlearn.

As strategists we spend our days becoming experts in whatever the new brief calls for. It’s part of our job; and yet sometimes it can stifle our thinking. So here is today’s lesson; brought to you by a young rising star:

Forget your years of experience. Ignore that voice inside your head that says ‘that idea won’t fly’. Experience is great in proposals. But sometimes (and not always) but definitely sometimes, rewinding back to inexperience is where something new and not-yet-thought-of lies.

by Principals

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