Here's an existential question to start the week. Why do agencies exist? Why do clients need them?

My answer is best summed up by this diagram:

Diagram showing a square box on the left marked 'client', a box with chaotic zig zag edges on the right marked 'world' and the agency shown as being what fills the gap between the two

Client organisations are generally boxy and square, with hard edges. They find it very difficult to change shape and adapt. The world, conversely, is zig zag and chaotic. The zigs and zags come from the economy, fashion, society, technology, consumer tastes and a whole host of different variables.

Clients find it incredibly difficult to interface with this zig zag world in a sustainable way. The skills and knowledge needed are always changing, there's constant demand for new ideas, the number of people needed for particular roles keeps changing, and there are even requirements for completely new jobs that their HR teams haven't even heard of yet, let alone know how to find.

So clients need their agencies to be the interface between them and a chaotic world. To be the shock absorber between the way their organisation works and the way the world is changing. To scout out what is coming next and to lead them to it.

The difficulty as an agency leader is that it means you need to present a solid straight edge to interface well with the client — stability, process, dependability, account management etc — while also having a chaotic edge on the other side of the business, connecting well with the zig zag world to scout it out and understand it.

It's the ability to think and operate in both those ways, simultaneously, that is what we are for.

It's a hard job. But if you do it well you'll always be in demand — especially in times like now when the world seems more zig zag than ever.

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For the last couple of weeks I've been recording video modules for e-learning courses for agency leaders. We'll publish them soon and I'll share details here.

In the meantime, we have dates in the coming months for our live Zoom workshops. Sign up and refresh your agency's positioning, get to grips with your finances, or get a healthier approach to managing your time and focus as an agency leader.

The Agency Radar report was published a month or so ago, with briefings about what leaders should be factoring in to their strategic planning. Already we've seen some of the warnings become reality. In a time when the world is more zig zag than ever, it's vital to be well briefed. Subscribe to Agency Radar's premium level to read the report in full.

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