Gonzo Planning vs. Jazz Planning

 I’m not sure who in the Plannersphere first coined the phrase Gonzo Planning, but it’s becoming a mini-meme. (Hey mini-meme! Like Mini-Me. Could that be a meme itself? Ohmygod, my world’s collapsing in on itself!)

Kevin comes first on Google, as it’s the name of his blog, but I didn’t notice it until last week

Anyway, Gonzo means ‘filled with bizarre or subjective ideas, commentary, or the like’. So I think Gonzo Planning is meant to be an insult, because of course a good planner only delivers scientifically developed and evidenced facts.

The odd thing is that I’m interviewing planners at the moment for Albion, and I’ve come across a few who seem to wear Gonzo as a badge of honour. Like a hoodie with an Asbo.

I don’t think I’m a Gonzo planner. I’ve probably been guilty of it in the past, but then I went to work with Leslie Butterfield who straightened me out.

I do hope I’m a Jazz Planner though…


I think I know the rules (the scales), and start with a simple rendition of the process (the tune), but quickly start exploring things from a different angle (improvising). Of course this sometimes descends into self-indulgent bollocks (self-indulgent bollocks), but can sometimes create something new of beauty (The Campaign for Real Beauty).

Or something.



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