Once a year, the owners of an agency should get together — even if they all work in the agency day-to-day anyway.
It's important to wear the owners 'hat', taking a different perspective on the business and thinking with a longer-term horizon.
We can help you step up to mindfully be the owner of your agency, by facilitating your owners retreat.
One day of focused discussion and workshops to review last year and set your agency up for a great next year. Thought-provoking, engaging, fun and energising.
Power up your 2022 planning
Before you can plan all your work in the business, you need a clear picture of how the business is going to work for you.
- What is the purpose of your agency?
- How is the agency progressing?
- What will make you most proud to own the agency?
- What investment are you making (even if that's only keeping existing investment in the business, or investing time) and what risk and reward are you expecting?
- What timeline are you investing over and what commitment are you all making?
- What are your priorities as owners: Grow the value of the business? Generate dividend income? Create the place you want to work? ... ?
We've developed a framework to help agency owners think about, discuss and decide these big questions, and more, together.
Having everything clear and aligned at the owner level will set you up for much more focused planning in the business as the exec team.
This will be the first key step to a great 2022.
Review last year
How is the business actually doing? How is it serving the owners? We'll help you review the previous 12 months in a structured and simple way, and help facilitate the discussion around that. You'll view your business, possibly for the first time, as an owner and investor, rather than just the CEO.
How does it work?
This is an in-company private retreat just for your agency. Over the course of one day, our facilitators guide you (and your fellow owners if applicable) through structured engaging discussions and practical thought-provoking exercises.
The output from each session will be a building block to a short document that acts as a key input to your business planning.
Who is this for?
It's best-suited for agencies in the following lifecycle stages: Step-up (10-30 staff), Smarten-up (30-75 staff) or Scale-up (75+ staff).
It doesn't matter how many owners you have (but it is only for privately held companies).
If your agency is smaller than this, but ambitious, you're welcome to contact us to discuss ways we can help you. We're going to be making a self-guided version of this retreat available for smaller agencies soon, or you can join our Convivio Cohorts, supporting each other for one day a month with owner and board retreats and regular board meetings.
Your owners retreat will deliver three core outcomes for you:
- Your three-year mandate for the business
This simple document captures the output from the day's workshops and discussions, and sets out your expectations for the business. It’s a rolling three-year mandate from the owners, and needs to be updated and extended on an annual basis. It's the perfect beginning for the planning inside the business.
- Clarity and stability for the leadership team (which might be you!)
Your review and update of your objectives for the business gives the CEO more freedom to lead, a clear direction for the wider leadership team, and enables them to deliver better results for the owners. (And yes, that helps focus their minds even if they're the same people!)
- Learn this approach to holding owners retreats
You'll end up with the framework, documents and workshop structures to make this a regular practice in your business — stepping up to the owner role to take the longer-term view of the agency in a structured way.
We'll help you
We will facilitate your agency owners retreat, guiding you through the process of gaining alignment and clarity using a framework and a range of tools and exercises we've developed. We'll make it easy, productive — and fun.
We want to support agencies in recovering from the pandemic and planning to grow again. For retreats that are scheduled for dates before the end of March 2022, held via Zoom, there is a discounted price of £2,700.
For retreats scheduled from April 2022 onwards, or in-person, the full price of £4,250 will apply.
There's lots of information below to answer any questions you might have — but if you'd like to discuss anything, you can email us at email@example.com.
The retreat will be guided and facilitated by:
Steve Parks, CEO, Convivio
Steve has led agencies and professional services businesses for over twenty years, from startups through to 170 people in nine countries. He was recently named as one of the ten most inspiring agency leaders in the UK in a survey of over 2,000 agencies, organised by Benchpress.
Dr Joe Baker, Chief Research Officer, Convivio
Joe leads the research work that underpins our key ideas. His background in academia, as well as years working at senior level in agency environments, mean he is ideally placed to understand the issues and develop solutions.
We work with the CEO and leadership team of your agency to help them prepare a briefing specific to your agency to circulate to owners in advance.
We provide guides to the owners to help them prepare.
The retreat is divided into two sections. In planning the retreat you can decide roughly how you'll want to allocate time between these. That will largely depend on whether there is a previous Agency Owners Mandate to update, or whether you need to work to create one from scratch.
Review: Agency Owners Briefing
- Review the business: The CEO briefly sums up some key points from the Owners Briefing, and adds any updates since it was circulated
- Questions: The owners ask questions to dig into the detail of the briefing
- Discussion: The owners discuss the issues raised by the briefing and any requests the CEO has made in the briefing
- Decisions and recommendations: reach consensus on the decisions requested and recommendations to the CEO
Look Ahead: Agency Owners Mandate
- The owners review any existing mandate from a previous year, highlighting parts they would like to update and discussing those updates
- The owners, if there has been no mandate before, work through each section of the mandate. We will lead guided workshop sessions for key parts of the mandate to enable collaborative working, and we will facilitate discussion for other sections.
- The mandate for this year is reviewed and agreed.
- Until April 2022, this retreat will be mainly available as an online retreat via Zoom. The price is therefore reduced significantly until the end of March 2022 for retreats that are held via Zoom.
- Zoom retreats can be delivered in office hours on weekdays for timezones that range between -3 and +8 of UTC
- We will provide the Zoom room and other necessary tools
- In some cases, where Covid-safe travel and venue are possible, we may be able to facilitate retreats in person before April 2022. Please contact us to discuss.
- We are taking bookings for in-person retreats from April 2022, on the assumption that the global pandemic situation may be dramatically improved by then. However, these may need to be moved to Zoom depending on the pandemic situation at the time. We'll monitor the situation with you and discuss it together.
- In-person retreats are subject to additional travel costs, and accommodation will be required. Alternatively, we can arrange venues and accommodation for a further fee of £750, plus a 15% administrative markup on the costs.
Terms and Conditions
- Prices are VAT exclusive and are subject to UK VAT at the current rate. Invoices will be due upon receipt. Interest on late payments will be charged at 8% above the base rate of the Bank of England.
- Bookings may be cancelled 14 days before the scheduled date for a 50% refund, or you may choose to reschedule the date at no extra charge. Bookings cancelled at less than 14 days notice will not be refunded, but may be rescheduled to a future date for a surcharge of 20%.
- Should we be unable to proceed with a retreat due to illness or other reason, we will provide as much notice as possible and offer a full refund or free rescheduling.