Propulsion tim-williams-50
February 14, 2011 | By Tim Williams

magic vs logic

Two weeks ago, I attended a conference with my colleagues from the VeraSage Institute, a think tank to which I belong in addition to my role at Ignition.  VeraSage is dedicated to revolutionizing how professional service firms create and capture value, and is populated by some of the smartest people I’ve had the pleasure of working with.

In one of the sessions I presented the concept of Magic and Logic, which has been a pretty consistent theme here on the Propulsion blog.  This concept is so “sticky” that I believe it took immediate hold in the hearts and minds of my fellow “fellows” in VeraSage.   It makes just as much sense for a law or accounting firm as it does for an advertising agency.  As I’ve written in Positioning for Professionals, there is a class of work in every type of professional firm that fits the Logic description.

As I’ve thought more about this concept, it strikes me that optimizing this concept in the context of a marketing firm involves a contrasting set of requirements:

  Magic Logic

In the Discovery phase …

… a Magic assignment often requires insights into via secondary or primary research …

… whereas a Logic project is mostly about client input.

In the Define phase …

… a Magic assignment requires defining objectives and strategy …

… whereas a Logic project is about describing deliverables and requirements.

In the Design phase …

… a Magic assignment is about solving problems …

… whereas a Logic project is about creating materials.

In the Develop phase …

… a Magic assignment is about customized production using flexible resources …

… whereas a Logic project is about standardized production using defined resources.

In the Deploy phase …

… a Magic assignment is about campaigns, programs, or platforms …

… whereas a Logic project is about components.

In the Determine phase …

… a Magic assignment requires analytics …

… whereas a Logic project requires mostly quality assurance.

Comments and additions from all you practitioners in the real world are valued and appreciated.  Let’s continue to build on and refine this model.

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What are your thoughts?