“Clear? I mean, I think so?” Workshop Recap

Finding clarity in our work starts with clarity of self.

STRTGST event poster • March 14, 2018

Cultural Context

Strategists have a tough job. On the surface, being responsible for the insights & inspiring the work sounds simple enough. After all, we live in the era of ‘Big Data’ and social listening, and it’s never been easier to stay up-to-date with the technological innovations, trends, or inspiration porn.

But there’s a price to accessing exponential information: exponential obfuscation.

That’s why Mighty Jungle CEO Mark Pollard’s workshop focused on understanding self; it’s a lot easier to understand the world, consumers, and to inspire strong, clear creative work when we understand ourselves. That’s why he suggests Strategists start any new project or problem with answering questions about yourself. After all, it’s good practice for being able to clearly answer questions about brands. Below is a recap of the tools explored that should help you on your way to finding and providing clarity.

Davis Mastin & Darien LaBeach • March 16, 2018

The Self-Clarity Assessment

Here are 10 questions to ask to get your noodle working and to better understand yourself:

1. Who are you? Who do you want to be?

2. What is clarity?

3. Why is clarity important?

4. What does freedom mean?

5. What does freedom mean in rural Texas?

6. What does freedom mean in prison?

7. What does freedom mean in an unhappy marriage?

8. What does authentic mean?

9. What does empowerment mean?

10. What’s something you’ve found clarity on this past year?

STRTGST workshop attendees • March 14, 2018


A quick scrappy approach to strategic problem solving.

Problem →Insight → Strategy/Solution


What we’re trying to solve. In advertising, we are often solving one of three problems:

  1. Awareness
  2. Relevance
  3. Conversion


Frame objectives as “solving a problem” because problems turn our brains on. After you’ve identified your problem, you can arrive at an insight: an unspoken human truth that sheds light on a problem. An insight is not a finding, it’s not a statistic, nor is it an observation.

*There are countless books/thinkpieces/blog posts written about insights and being insightful, so we’ll explore them in great detail in the future.


Mark suggests strategists put guidelines in place upfront to identify a problem, discern an insight, and create winning strategies/solutions:

  • Define jargon so everyone is speaking the same language.
  • Build a wall where everyone can write down their ideas and ultimately mitigate side conversations.
  • Create a glossary of terms so no one is out of the loop.
  • Define personal goals before defining team goals.
  • Pin up examples of good work on the wall as a benchmark.
  • Challenge to raise the benchmark.
  • Develop an ‘idea rating scale’ with clear parameters for success.
  • Reflect often — alone and with teammates.
  • Borrow and bury uncommon words in order to create something new.
  • On that note, play games with the words — what’s the most interesting word in the Problem, Insight, or Strategy, and reframe it. This often gets teams more excited about the end goal.

Additional Reading

Mark was great during the workshop and after. He shared some recommended reading. Add them to your Kindle, Audible, Amazon cart, or go to a library near you: