In the second world war, British intelligence spread rumours that Royal Air Force pilots ate carrots to help them see in the dark.

It was, of course, nonsense. The disinformation was purely intended to stop the enemy becoming too suspicious about the real reason why British pilots were suddenly so much more effective on night missions. That reason was the invention of RADAR.

Last time, I wrote about great agency leaders being "a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will." This week I'll focus on how to gather the information and insight that contributes to having that intelligence, and next week we'll focus on bolstering your willpower in these trying times.

Having this new radar technology was suddenly like a superpower for pilots. It regularly scanned for any incoming threats which could then be avoided, or targeted, before they even became a problem. This view ahead in the dark gave British pilots a huge advantage over the competition.

And the same is true for your agency. If you take the time to scan around you in your agency, your market, in society and in the world — and then analyse what you learn to develop insights about what threats, opportunities and trends you see for the future — you will be able to see further ahead than your competitors and your clients.

Those insights will make you more valuable and enable you to deepen client relationships. The agencies that can see ahead, will get ahead.

So this week, review how good your horizon scanning and intelligence gathering is. What is your view of the future like? Where could you get information from? How could you establish a regular practice of researching ahead and developing insights into your perspective on what's coming?

How could you use these insights into the future with your clients, to become their trusted advisers?

To help you with this, we've launched an online workshop that we're running a few times in the coming months. Horizon Scanning For Agencies will equip you with a few simple tools and techniques to be more structured in creating a view into the future, with ideas on how to use this to prepare your agency — and deepen your relationship with clients. We've made tickets very accessibly priced to help as many agencies as possible with planning ahead before recession comes. Book now to secure your place, and secure your future.

Next week, let's get your mojo firing on all cylinders, with a renewed sense of purpose.

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