Searching and learning

The stuff you learn while you are learning stuff.

This year I started a Strategy Masterclass to hone my skills. It’s great – I’m really enjoying it, but it’s not just the direct learning that I’m enjoying. I’m really enjoying the stuff that I’m learning while I’m learning stuff.

Let me explain.

Years ago I started a Masters in Design. I completed more than half the credits needed but stopped when academia made it very clear they would only accept my a thesis on THE READABILITY AND LEGIBILITY OF DIGITAL TYPEFACES if it were submitted as hardcopy, double spaced and set in 12 point Times. Go figure.

Luckily all was not lost. I constantly use the information I learnt about readability and legibility. I also reference other stuff I found. Stuff that was uncovered down the tunnels and burrows learning sends you.

That’s what I’m loving about The Strategy Masterclass. I’m focusing on a specific problem and using that as the basis of my research, but in the process of solving that problem I’m opening doors that I didn’t know existed, and that is proving really valuable.

It’s the stuff you learn while you are learning stuff.

One of the gems that has been uncovered is Mark Pollard, an Australian strategy director based in New York.

Mark’s website, Life. Then Strategy. is one of the ‘further readings’ used in the course, and I’m loving Mark’s take on things. Quite a few of his posts have been particularly valuable, like the one on how to explain an idea.

We all deal with ideas every day, but Mark explains how ideas and strategy and creativity intersect. And how to strategically present your idea. I think it’s brilliant – well worth a read.

The other stuff I learnt while I was learning stuff was about an app that Jim Antonopoulos shared – Pocket. I’m probably a very late adopter, but being able to file interesting stuff to read later, and be able to access it across different mediums is gold. It makes those moments waiting for the tram/client/my mother valuable.

Just like the stuff that you learn while you are learning stuff.


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Carol Mackay

Carol is the founder and creative director of Mackay Branson, a design studio currently celebrating 33 years in business.  Her expertise is in the use of design to make the complex simple. – package complicated content into bite-sized chunks of information that are easy to understand and digest. She does that with clients in the corporate, cultural, government and not-for-profit sectors. Connect in LinkedIn, or read more at