Leading a creative agency means a diverse range of challenges all the time, but rarely anything nobody has faced before. The Agency Playbook is a reference manual to support you in your role as an owner, director and CEO, by standing on the shoulders of others.

Playbook modules

Agency Foundations

Build a sustainable business — focus on the right things to set your agency on firm foundations. Tame the chaos, stay in control.

The Pyramid of Purpose

A framework, developed by Convivio, to enable you to think about the key agency questions for yourself, to collaborate on them within the agency, and to communicate them widely — Why are we here? What will we do? How will we work together to do that?

Agency lifecycle stage


The beginning of the agency lifecycle when, you're cracking on with storming and forming. It's often ad hoc and chaotic, but it's the stage when you're most in touch with everything that's going on.

Now is the time to set the vision and direction, and make clear progress towards it.

Usually 1–10 people.


In this stage the agency is taking the first steps to grow up. But this needs a change in leadership approach, and a bit more structure.

It's a time to calm the chaos of the start-up stage.

You've passed 10(ish) people, depending on the type of agency and rate of growth.


This is the stage in the lifecycle when the agency is maturing, and it's ready to take the steps to become independent from its founders.

In this stage, you're putting in place a full leadership team and management structure, and you're developing a clearer culture and solid processes.

You've probably reached 30(ish) people.


At this stage in the agency lifecycle, growth is less about big-bang changes and more about embedding constant change and growth as a process.

Scaling up is about reliably repeatedly replicating what you do.

You're probably passing 75(ish) people.


At this stage, you're looking to develop the strategic options for the future of the business beyond being owned by the current owners.

What options are best for the owners and best for the business?


Don't panic!

Most agencies have some period of crisis in their history. Many have several they can talk about.

So, don't panic. Just work through it, step by step.

Agency leadership role

Agency CEO

Vital playbooks for agency CEOs, at every stage of your agency's life.

From the hands-on work during your start-up phase, through to leading a team and stepping back from being a practitioner, there's playbooks here for all you need to know to cut a dash in the CEO hat, and lead your business iwth confidence.

Other sections

Convivio Way

Playbook changelog

The place to find all the recent updates and additions to the playbook.

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