Board briefing: Spring cleaning
Spring is a time for renewal. There's long been a tradition to clear out and spruce up our homes at this time each year — clearing out old things we've hung onto but no longer really need, dusting out old corners, and so on. Afterwards, it feels amazing.
It's healthy to have a similar annual habit in a business. Clearing out the artefacts of being the agency you were before, to make room for the agency you will be now, and fixing things up.
In this discussion the board can help the CEO get a higher-altitude perspective on how the agency is changing and what may need to be cleaned up or fixed up to be ready for what is next.
Agencies exist to help clients sense, adapt and harness change (creating value) — and to avoid being harmed by change (protecting value). They are shock absorbers for the new.
That's vital because client organisations are square and rigid. They find change hard.
But the world they exist in is changing dramatically all the time.
Whether that's new technology, changes in society, political or economic change, or anything else — clients need agencies to help them navigate it.
That means agencies exist between clients and the outside world.
In order to continue to successfully fulfil this role for clients as the agency grows, you need to balance two competing demands: