You get caught up in serving clients, pitching for new ones, managing the staff, putting out fires and solving today's problems. And that can go along very well for a while, while your shop continues to thrive. But one day you will pick your head up and the company will be rudderless -- a ship without direction. So it is critical to gather the troops, and set out for a few days of dreaming, and questioning, and planning and charting the path forward.
Each year, the senior leadership of Brownstein Group moves off campus to do just that . We ask ourselves tough questions:
- What's the right strategy to grow?
- What people do we need to get there?
- What do we need to do to improve?
- Are we executing our positioning?
- Do our own team members back at the shop know what we stand for -- especially the new hires?
- What are new services or products we can offer?
- What's it gonna cost to execute the strategy -- both in time, resources and dollars?
- Who's gonna "own" each of the commitments we make, to ensure we do them, not just talk about them?
Frankly, strategic planning for your own agency is mission critical. In an industry that changes at the speed of business, staying ahead of those changes is not a "nice-to"; it's a "need-to." What was relevant last year may not be this year. Service offerings, like social-media strategy and execution, that were novel 18 months ago are standard issue today. So what's next? Helping drive new revenue for clients in a slow-growing economy takes deep thought. Media budgets are shrinking, while results expectations are increasing. How can ad/pr agencies continue to be important advisers?
Tackling these challenges gets the adrenaline going for me. I am fortunate to have some very smart people around me to help guide Brownstein Group through the next year and beyond. So if the Outlook invite to postpone the August date comes through, you know what my reply will be.