Steve McCarron (former MD of Cheetham Bell JWT, and gyro), Rebecca Ashley and Helen Davies (Planning Directors at Planning Express and formerly of TBWA) are launching a new kind of strategic services agency called ‘The Planning Department’.

As clients and agencies respond to tough economic conditions, they will depend on smaller teams which are able to scale up as required by bringing outside specialists in.

The Planning Department believes that this trend plays to the strengths of the strategy discipline, which is at its best when representing diverse points of view from outside of the core team. Diversity of thinking will be encouraged through innovative research approaches, specialist partners and collaboration tools.

Steve McCarron said ‘We know how important it is for clients and agencies to supercharge their thinking by bringing in new, diverse perspectives to solve problems and create new ideas. It is our job to provide this ‘outside-in thinking’ and plug it in seamlessly as and when clients need it’

The rally cry is simple: if you need the best strategic thinking, then ‘Bring the outside in.’