Once upon a time I thought that George Michael was quite a ladies man. I once believed Jimmy Saville was a lovable 'character'. Once upon a time, I thought I would never ever countenance the idea of having children.
I even liked a Queen song once.
So it's sensible to assume that everything you know might be wrong. That was is certain is just your current frame of reference.
It's no different for strategy folks, where it's easy to get taken in by the received wisdom, or what just scratching the surface seems to tell you.
Here's some other stuff I've had to unlearn that's a bit more work related:
1. TV ads don't work anymore. I can't believe I'm still feeling the need to say this, but the effectiveness of TV is going up and the average under 25 year in the UK still watches about 2 hours a night. There are more options these days, but discounting mass broadcast is just dumb, like any other media.
2. But what is even dumber is assuming the answer is any form of advertising anyway. The issue with being paid by project is that you get paid for an output. Being paid a fee for advice means you can advise on the right thing to do, rather than what you've already sold.
3. Digital folks don't get how brands work. Now it's still widely true that if you give a digital agency a hammer, they only see nails, but much of the same can be levelled at ad agencies and such, who think shifting brand metrics is all that matters. The IPA databank tells us that hard business objectives tend to drive success, which is why digital folks with the skills to make people do stuff, rather than make small shifts on Millward Brown perhaps know more about how brands work. Or business, which maybe matters more.
4. Brands are about rational benefits wrapped in intangible meaning. We still want novelty and shortcuts, but digital doo dahs and sheer choice mean we're into tangible difference in brand meaning these days too- added value service and actions over image (Lynx helps actually pull women now, rather than just playing with ironic references to confidence).
5.Creatives are spoiled children. The bad ones are. The great ones are better planners, suits etc than everyone else too, they just get there without the bollocks, and work harder on what real people care about - something that might surprise and delight in the 95% of crap.
6. The mature creative markets like London and New York can teach Asia and co loads. From what I've seen, Asia isn't bogged down by received wisdom and just does stuff like social media much, much better.
7. It's ace working on big brands and famous clients. Many big clients are so process driven it's a nightmare. While the coolest clients are also the most demanding, you do great stuff, but you bleed for it.
8. Blogs are the future. All planners were saying this 10 years ago, then along came Facebook. Which is why assuming you know what media will be like in 1 years from now is ridiculous.
9. One day they'll stop with the 'this will be the year of xxx and the death of xxx' (insert self serving media or latest brand model). It will always be thus- perhaps the only safe prediction!
10. I would never work for a media agency. I am now and increasingly, I'm seeing that's where the innovation is. Great agencies I venerated 10 years ago are looking very, very creaky these days and seem to be fiddling while Rome burns.
What have you unlearned?