Saher Sidhom

Saher will write about reflections, happenings and other insights in the forthcoming market communication field.

Saher Sidhom

Saher Sidhom

Describe your experiences and reflections of a planner and the work a planner do?
‘Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see’ – Arthur Schopenhauer. I was thinking about types of planners out there following a conversation with a planning director friend and we were debating the virtues of various ‘types’ of planners. Labels abound of-course, account planner, creative planner, communication planner, digital planner etc. Yet the only types I could come up with were simply two: the first are planners who are brilliant at de-construction: these are the folks who are great at telling you how the world works. Typically because they come from research and curiosity backgrounds / mindsets. The other type are the planners who are brilliant at construction (and re-construction). These are the ones who are into how the world ‘could’ work. The latter type don’t need a curiosity background. Sadly i would say that the latter are the rarer variety. I suppose the difference between the two is what Schopenhauer described between the talented and the genius. Finally, as far as planning processes go wouldn’t it be simpler to narrow down the planning cycle to two phases: Deconstruction – Reconstruction. The first is about understanding ‘how the world works?’ and the second is about ‘how it could work?’. If it is one planner who is doing both then he/she would need to swap hats somewhere in the middle but you could always have two planners the de-constructionist and the re-constructionist in charge of each phase.  

Describe how the future will be out of your perspective in your work and in your life?
If I knew what what the future is like I wouldn’t want to be there. I think it was Neils Bohr who once said prediction is very difficult specially about the future. It depends on the time horizon you are dealing with. It’s easier to guess a few things about culture, sustainability and technology and how a few new ideas will come when genuine friction occurs in-between these three domains. As far as I am concerned I try not to think too much about the future but focus more on the next 6 months to a year this sort of time horizon allows me to get my act together and actually do something. Anything beyond that is astrology. On a personal level I believe as a planner my role will not necessarily be about providing some strategic direction but it will be more about conducting experiments and asking questions instead of doing research and providing answers. One thing for sure doing what we did yesterday is going to be a false premise for something that’s going to live tomorrow. The other thing is the idea of controlled predictability that planning pretends to provide may very well be replaced with looking for a number of starts in order to reach different and multiple ends.  

Mention the 3 most important and historically based inventions/events/episodes/experiences/etc to us, the human race/mankind? 
1. God – the finest invention of the mediaeval age.
2. Enlightenment – the dawn of science – man develops a fact based conscious. 
3. Atheism – the fundamental belief that the man in the sky cannot give us all the answers.  

Mention the 3 forthcoming most important and historically based inventions/events/episodes/experiences/etc to the human race/mankind – i.e. they will come in the future?
1. Economies that are based on collaboration not competition. Competition is fine if you have unlimited resources – that is clearly not the case anymore. More collaborative models will emerge.
2. Cultural fusion based on the increasing mash up of different values and ideas. New models of thinking and re-distribution of values beyond geographical boundaries. 
3. Nano and other technologies that will lead not only to new products but to new humans. 

Describe shortly who you are, your background and what you do?
Briefly, I grew up in ad agencies doing classical account planning on t.v. print etc then I moved to brand entertainment where i worked on things like making t.v. programs for brands then i went into digital and new media where all these experiences came to more life. I am currently Global Planning Director for Great Works of Sweden. I do have other interests outside the regular job these are fashion and film making.  I think I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked with some of the world’s finest super brands on a number of cutting edge projects and where I had the opportunity to apply the latest and varied thinking into things that went beyond the predictable classical stuff.  




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