In the agency world, people are fortunate enough not to be working only for money to pay the bills. So it means there's a broad range of reasons for why people have gathered in your agency, and why people should want to come and work with you.

In the last few weeks I've been walking through our Pyramid of Purpose tool for agency CEOs to think about their roles. The aim is to help you relight the inner fire of your agency. I started by focusing on purpose. This week, we'll focus on the next key part of your role, which is to curate and nurture the culture of the agency.

The pyramid of purpose

Businesses define their culture by talking about 'values'. But these often become generic and abstract. They get dreamed up as some important 'good' words, put on a poster and forgotten. They aren't particularly useful because they aren't connected to the daily reality of the agency.

In the pyramid of purpose, culture is defined more explicitly and is made up of two layers:

  • Behaviours: what anyone who interacts with your agency (staff, customers, prospects, communities, etc) should experience that would distinguish your business from others. This is a pledge staff members make to the business, each other, clients and other stakeholders. These behaviours define how any underlying values will actually be displayed and experienced, rather than just being abstract feelings and beliefs.
  • Motivations: why people would want to work in your agency, towards the purpose you have set, rather than anywhere else. This is the pledge the business makes to staff members — and you!

The combination of these two things is what then creates the culture.

If you feel your internal fire is burning a little lower than usual as an agency, one contributing factor may be because you haven't explicitly thought about the motivations behind why you all work for the agency, and therefore those underlying needs aren't being well-served at the moment.

What do you want out of the agency? Fun and excitement? Fame and fortune? Pride? Supporting your family life? Being able to learn? There will be a few reasons, but limit yourself to 4-ish, and list them in a unique order of priority. And because you limit the number, what gets left out tells you as much about the company as what is put in.

So this week, give some thought to what really motivates you, and the kind of people you'd want to work in your agency, to work towards your purpose. Why have people gathered in your agency, and why should others join you?

And if you'd like some help, I'm giving some practical workshops in the next few weeks to help you get hands on with creating your own pyramid of purpose. Claim your seat now.


Convivio Workshops for Agency Owners

Get your agency's inner fire burning even more brightly, ready to navigate a challenging economy ahead — we're running two workshops that can help:

Claim your seat in these practical workshops now, and get your agency's inner fire burning brightly for what's ahead.


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