It's a series of events, in fact, described as a "discussion and video series about planning and beyond", with the main purpose of exploring "the intersection of brands, strategy, innovation, and the world of account planning." The hope is to "spark a lively discussion, and inspire those working in the field."
That is great. Except, I am not sure how useful it can possibly be. Mostly because if planners talk about planning there will be a lot of ideas that planners have: a) already heard of, and b) are likely to agree with, even if they haven't yet heard of them.
There's an inherent problem with a business discipline trying to define itself.
First, planners who are exposed mostly to other planners' ideas, read other planners' blogs, and tend to agree with what's written there, will inevitably consolidate what they already know. This means that they will be less open to doing things differently, and to be able to offer a fresh perspective on business challenges they encounter.
Second, even if a planner comes up with a different idea, they won't be able to easily push for it, because it simply doesn't fit in what everybody's already agreed on. And lack of disruptive ideas kills innovation - and the evolution of account planning discipline.
And finally, and most importantly, there is also this. Whether a planner did a good or bad job is ultimately (in their everyday work) not assessed by other planners. It's assessed by everyone else - the people that planners work for: creatives, UX, developers, account people, project managers, and ultimately, the client. It is those people that are the planners' real audience.
So maybe we should ask them what they think how account planning may look like today - to help them do their job better.
Otherwise, it's just an echo-chamber. And this is its perfect example: "Planning was conceived as the thinking behind creativity. But the conventional planner has become a caricature: thinking in an ivory tower and post-rationalizing the doing of others. But today – as the industry, agency, and world-at-large have evolved – the definition of planning, and its future, is unclear."
Seems to me that, with this approach, we remain in an ivory tower. This time, without even realizing it.
(I took this image from Joe Van Wetering's blog. His drawings are pretty amazing.)