An interesting question was posed today in a discussion I had "how many people does it take to make a great strategy/brief?" We're working on a relatively small project that crosses the traditional agency boundaries (advertising, online, youth, promotions) and we naturally want the best thinking and great input into the brief, but question where is the point you get too many people in the room to be productive. How many strategist types from each specialty plus the creatives can you effectively have in the same room to brief? Is it the power of three? Is it more the merrier? Does it depend on who the individual people are?
I'd say all of the above. It is an interesting tension between getting good thinking from a group, but how to avoid being so big individuals get caught trying to sound smart to the group or forcing their agenda on all or even worse everyone feeling they need to leave the room with consensus or even worse than that everything simply ends up overly complicated with all that thought.
The dynamic and knowledge of a group is a great thing to hardness. But lately I've been finding you also need the clarity of an individual or a small tighter group to flush everything out. It's the distillation process if you will. You kind of need to go back and forth. Get the bigger group, flush out the ideas and thinking. Take it back to your desk, review with one, maybe two others to tighten. Float it back to the bigger group for further thoughts or ideas. Distill again. Repeat as necessary.
Et voila. I'm off to do a cattle call meeting invite...