My biggest problem is that most people I meet are people who don’t read. And a planner who doesn’t read is sort of an oxymoron. Some people come and say that they learn from life! You don’t learn from life. You learn from someone who has written a book and they have learnt from life. You don’t have the capacity or the capability yet. Most of the people say that ‘I watch movies and I spend time outdoor’, which basically means ‘I like getting drunk’.
So basically, if you don’t like this discipline of reading, you have no business being in planning. If you want interesting solutions then you need to be interesting to start off with. You need to develop interests. And academically, you need to have knowledge of basic natural sciences and derivative sciences.
I think this applies for designers, too. But I would go further. Read, yes. Be interested and interesting, yes. Be aware of the natural sciences, yes. But also the artificial sciences (psychology, economics), the humanities, the arts, linguistics, philosophy, business, and so on and so on and so on.
But first, read.
Tony Robertson at UTS once said to me that being a good designer is basically about being a good person.