People tend to think of purpose only as some great charitable mission, but for an agency it simply means knowing what you are for.

It's the organising reason for all the things you need to do. It's the unifying force behind your culture.

Last week I introduced our tool for agencies, The Pyramid of Purpose. This week we'll look at the top of the stack — the bit everything else needs to be directed towards. Purpose.

The Pyramid of Purpose

If you feel like you or your agency has lost your inner fire a little — or even if you just see there's an opportunity to be a bit more fired up — then revisiting and clarifying your purpose is the first place to start.

This purpose is for you as the founder to define, it can't be delegated or done as a committee. But you can consult others to feed into your thinking. You need good thinking time to mull this over too. Take long walks, or even a few quiet days away from the business.

Why does your agency exist? What is it for? Why does the world need it? Why are you being called to this quest and are unable to resist? Why should you get out from under your duvet on event the coldest days? Why should great people come to join you on the adventure?

Getting to the heart of these questions is a first step to making struggling agencies good, and good agencies great.

If you have a strong purpose, it acts as a shining beacon from the top of your agency. This can be seen by prospective clients and recruits from afar, and helps gather your tribe. That's why it's shown right at the top of the pyramid of purpose.

You can then measure everything you're doing about whether it is directed towards this purpose, and this really helps you focus. It's the difference from running around reacting to whatever comes up, and doing everything on purpose.

This week, think about whether your agency's purpose is clear now. Is it a shining beacon or just a generic placeholder that any agency in your field could use? Does it motivate people and help gather your tribe? Think more deeply about why your agency needs to exist. What is it for?


Horizon Scanning Workshop

There are big challenges ahead on multiple fronts, including the economy. Clients need their agencies to be ahead on what's likely to happen, prepared for it — and ready to help them navigate it. The agencies who can see ahead, will get ahead. We're running some half-day workshops to help founders adopt tools and practices to be better at getting a long-term view in their agency. The next one is on 7th June, on Zoom. Book your place now.

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