Four business meditations for ushering in a new agency era
I have learnt an enormous amount over the course of the last couple of months
In particular, a profound lesson in ‘which fucks to give’ alongside a deep understanding of how values come to life during a time of crisis.
There were some fairly functional learnings as well. Recognising the importance of scenario planning and forecasting, getting to grips with supplier contracts and small print and prioritising team resilience and doing the right thing.
I believe our business will never be the same again. And it shouldn’t be either.
We should not strive for a return to normality but instead pursue an improved future for everyone.
This got me thinking about what our firm will look like in the future. I’ve particularly focused on four distinct areas that I’ve been turning over in my head, so wanted to get them down on paper as it may help others to either share in the experience or spark an idea.
Meditation one: what is our role within a collective? One anticipated trend is that we’ll move from a world of individualism to an era of collectivism. How will we operate in this collective? Want do we want to take and what do we want to contribute? Identifying our contribution but also our withdrawal from society is crucial to establishing some form of balance and equilibrium.
Meditation two: is our footprint too narrow? It’s clear that when organisations referred to globalisation what they really meant was, China. As that major domino started to topple the impact was momentous. How spread is our footprint? How reliant are we on myopic supply chains to keep us in business? How dispersed or localised are our team? Striking a balance between localising our client base and team where reasonable and dispersing where necessary, is important.
Meditation three: are we leading from a position of compassion? It was remarkable how quickly I started analysing numbers and margins, placing such importance on data and assuming resilience in people. With leaders such as Jacinda Ardern showing how a compassion first approach works, it’s crucial we balance spreadsheets with ethos. Have we made our mission more compassionate? Are we prioritising the right way?
Meditation four: who are our companions? Another thread from the topic of individualism vs collectivism. We’ve seen a serious step towards helping one another. I’ve always favoured the ‘different approach’, but that doesn’t mean it should be taken in (forgive me) isolation. B Corp community is one thing, but there are a host of ‘competitors’ and fellow citizens prepared to take that step into the unknown with us. We need to identify, lock hands and jump in with more, not fewer people.
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