Regular listeners will have noticed a slight change to our usual programming. A global pandemic has shifted our focus from the very specific, detailed insights intended solely to improve new business performance, to include a more contextual viewpoint. Of course, context has always been important to new business, but with so much change and uncertainty around us, it now seems imperative to broaden our discussion.
From the very beginning of this crisis I was blown away by the speed with which the Design Business Association team leapt into action to provide a virtual space for discussion, advice and community support. On any given week, agencies (members and non-members alike) could access free webinars to understand the implications of the evolving crisis and tap into expert advice to help navigate a way forward.
So here we some 4 months on. What have we learnt? And what is the outlook for the design industry? I managed to wrangle some time with Design Business Association Chief Executive Deborah Dawton to find out.
You can find out more about DBA membership here and access the ‘Ask an Expert’ scheme here.
There aren’t enough podcasting hours to do justice to the agency positioning and proposition debate. We’ve explored this before in episode 13 with David C. Baker and then again in episode 36 with master of the agency messaging, Roland Gurney.
But with entire industry sectors in crisis and an uncertain economy ahead it has never been more important for agencies to clearly define and signpost their expertise. So buckle up, we’re going in again!
In this episode we talk to Robin Bonn from Co:definery to get the lowdown on why positioning is dead but proposition is king and the perils of a pivot. Listen in to find out how to win a copy of Robin’s recommended read: Good Strategy, Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt
You can read Robin’s latest musings here and follow his Marketing Week column here.
Across the world, leadership is under scrutiny.
Citizens are looking to their politicians, employees are looking to their employers. Amid continued uncertainly, everyone needs direction and reassurance.
So what does good leadership look like? Does it change in a crisis? And how can agency leaders look after their teams, and their own wellbeing, as we move from the challenges of lockdown to this next phase of the pandemic?
In this episode we explore these questions and more with Executive Change Mentor Sally Henderson.
Sally has worked with leadership teams at some of the most influential agencies and brands across the world. She joins us to share her top tips for leading with clarity, confidence and authenticity.
As always we’ll be giving away a copy of Sally’s recommended read: Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff, also mentioned in this episode is Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers.
You can find details of Fearless Fuel, Sally’s peer-to-peer leadership round-tables here.
Over the past six weeks I’ve been speaking to lots of agency leaders. Those one-on-one conversations have highlighted to me, just how many variables there are determining how agencies are able to weather this extraordinary storm.
Aside from agency size and structure, services, client sector focus, and the deeply personal experiences of managing pipeline, clients and teams whilst either squashed together with, or isolating without family, there is the issue of cash.
In almost every case it is the agency’s cash position going into this crisis that determines how able they will be to emerge. Cash provides time. Time to think, to adapt, to respond.
So as we move into this next phase, and negotiate anew with clients and prospects, how can we maximise our cash? How do we make sure we still get paid for our ideas and solutions?
In this episode, I talk to Independent Financial Director and cash flow specialist Michelle Cook. We learn how Michelle has harnessed Just-In-Time methodology used in manufacturing to revolutionise cash management and her top tips for invoicing, negotiating terms and avoiding payment delays.
This is another perfect example of how small changes in our processes can deliver marginal gains.
We’ll be giving away a copy of Michelle’s recommended read The Innovation Book: How to Manage Ideas and Execution for Outstanding Results by Max Mckweown. Listen in to find out how to win.
You can find Michelle on LinkedIn here. And if you want to discuss a new business challenge, you can book into my diary here.