The level of mutual trust between agencies and their clients is at an all-time low. There are many culprits, some historical and perennial, some temporary and episodic. The current debate over media “transparency” is a manifestation of the erosion of trust in agency-client relationships. But it is also symptomatic of the underlying cause of this mistrust.
What is the strongest predictor of success in business? According to one of the most comprehensive studies of business management ever conducted, the answer is a clearly stated, focused business strategy.
The decline in the perceived value of advertising agencies can be closely correlated with their increasing propensity to dutifully fulfill “scopes of work” rather than proactively solve client problems.
As the old axiom goes, all you need to start an agency is a desk and a phone. In the 21st century version, the desk might be replaced by a laptop computer, but the perceived simplicity of professional service firms is based on the fact that we are essentially knowledge businesses
No doubt you’ve heard a friend in business say something like, “That’s fine for Apple or BMW, but we’re selling a commodity.” Even if your friend works for a grain processing company, that’s a remarkably misguided statement. And if you work in professional services, it unconscionable to believe that what you do is difficult to distinguish.
If your internal teams are continually raising the red flag about projects that are “over estimate,” this is almost always a misdiagnosis of the problem. The vast majority of agency assignments haven’t been properly scoped.
What do effective pricing and agile development have in common? Quite a lot, it seems. Especially in the world of professional services, where most firms are stuck in an industrial age model of adding up their hours (costs) and calling it a price.
Is doing better enough? Marketing professional Harry Beckwith asks us to imagine the typical year-end company meeting in which the CEO’s approach to continued success is "Let’s look at what we did last year, and do at least 15% better."
After spending some time in CambridgeSpace we decided to pause for a morning and think about the space we’ve made our home. I’ve been working with the brilliant architect, designer, artist and TED fellow, Alison Killing to create a workshop to help people and organisations use their space to achieve their mission and collaborate well. We’ve called it Collaboration Space.