Greetings from Hong Kong. I wanted to let you know what I have in mind for the planning survey this year. Because of my current project, now is not the ideal time for me to do the survey. And really, I’ve been a bit stupid about the timing for a while. I always find myself working on it in the summer. That wasn’t such a big deal when I lived in Miami – you want to be inside in the summer – but now going into my fourth year in Europe I want to shift the analysis to the fall/winter when I plan to enjoy snuggling up to my laptop over warm drinks.
I’m also starting to view the survey and it’s purpose more broadly. Simon Sinek has had a profound impact on me in how I view brands as well as personal meaning making. And I find myself wishing that planners were more connected. (I use the term “planner” as a catch-all term for the mixed group of lateral thinkers with many titles so don’t get bunched up about it.) I know I benefit tremendously from having a broad, global network of helpful intelligent people I can turn to who are outside of my day to day work.
That being said, my plan for the survey this year is to change it quite a bit. I’d like to keep the core questions in order to get the salary info we all find so useful, but then stop with the questions. Instead, if you so choose, you can participate in a couple of projects/platforms.
One will be Skype related. You put in your Skype ID and country and we match you with someone in a different country. We can provide some starter questions to get the conversation going. You agree to have one Skype and then answer a few questions about the conversation. Maybe something as simple as “what did you learn?” These responses become the content for the survey in addition to the numbers. Some people I’ve shared the idea with have called it Planner Roulette. Anybody got a better name? Anybody got some basic coding experience so we don’t have to do the matching manually?
The second is something you can start dabbling with now. We thought it would be cool if there were a Couch Surfing just for planners. Imagine going on a business trip to a new city or country and staying over the weekend to learn more about it. Or just finding a local to meet for a coffee while you’re on holiday. Couch Surfing is about both types of experiences. You can participate and never stay over with a person. You can stay in a guest room if they have one. So Willem van der Horst and I are currently moderating a group called Planners Everywhere within the Couchsurfing site. You can create your profile with Facebook connect but the site leaves a lot to be desired in terms of UX. Be patient. We figured it was better to have something than to pass on the idea. And we don’t have the desire to build it from scratch. We will be policing the group by checking members profiles on LinkedIn. Making it private makes it impossible to find. Give it a try and leave messages on the group message board to share your experiences. If anyone fancies a few days in Amsterdam, I am willing to be the first host. I don’t have a guest room, but I do have a couch and I have karaoke at home. Don’t all request at once.