Zen is inspiring and full of wisdom. I love reading Zen stories over and over again. Every time I read them I discover something new. Reading Zen opens your eyes to the other side of things. I got an idea of applying Zen stories to communication planning. Here is the first story.
A Cup of TeaNan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.
Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring.
The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"
"Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"
When we do enter the communication planning process we hire not only our experiences from the past but also our beliefs, point of views, which usually are our personal opinions. It means that we are not able to see beyond. We look at the brief as it was the same old story and the same way we work on communication strategies. Emptying our cup of teas means getting out of expert role and becoming the curious kid. We need to empty our cup of tea to see that there are other ways of approaching the problems and achieving the goals. And empty cup is the only guarantee we dare to try something new.
Don't worry, I don't want to get rid of your inner expert and all wisdom you have gathered through you life. After "empty cup" phase, you need to put expert disguise on again and evaluate what you have found out in your empty cup. Hopefully your expert is open minded and don't slaughter all great and innovative ideas at once ;o)