The agencies who get ahead are the ones who can see ahead.

That sounds obvious but, particularly now, many agency owners are stuck down at ground level — mostly working on sales and project delivery, or dealing with internal operational issues.

Being at ground level means the view to the horizon is very short, so new opportunities and obstacles seem to appear suddenly and unpredictably.

This is why I talk about agency owners needing to operate mostly in 'higher altitude' roles as owners, directors and CXOs. This isn't about hierarchy, it's about altitude of thinking.

By climbing to the top of the hill, the view to the horizon becomes much longer, and you can also see all the way around so your view is broader too. From the top of the hill you can see not just the next obstacles, but also the ones beyond. Plus, it's a bit quieter up there, which means there's time and space for thinking, preparing for the journey ahead.

And the magic bit is, if you spot obstacles far enough in advance, you can make them into opportunities.

This doesn't just benefit the agency itself. The main reason clients need agencies is to help them navigate the zig-zag changing world, to be a shock absorber. So you also become much more valuable to clients as a result of having a clearer, longer view ahead.

What altitude are you operating at currently? How much time do you spend at the top of the hill? What horizon-scanning have you been doing? What high altitude thinking?

How could you fit more of that in this week?


  • To help leaders in their horizon scanning, we recommend keeping a simple 'radar', which you can use to have board and leadership team discussions around. We also publish the Agency Radar, that you can use to feed into your own look ahead.
  • In January 2020 we warned about a pandemic. In June 2021 we warned about international conflict and inflation. Now there are risks around a recession or even a crash, plus further international unrest and supply chain issues. If you think about these now, you can not only prepare the agency but you can identify the opportunities these risks present.
  • The visual of the Agency Radar is free to view, and Convivio subscribers get to see the full insights along with regular updates. Join now for only £225/month.

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