Our summer recess is over

Every summer we pause. To look up, and around.

Starting May Day, and for the last 90 days of our financial year, we re-evaluate our strategy, our business plan and our long-term direction.

This year, the end of the recess coincided with our summer party – and what a way to signal the start of the new financial year.

We originally started the “summer relax period” over 10 years ago as a method to combat overwork and plan the following year. It’s when our bestest ideas come to fruition, and gives us a real boost starting the new financial year.

We regard it as a business pause, a time to reflect on the last year and look forward to what we will do differently next year. Think about it, if you didn’t stop and take a look around then work would end up being one continuous grind into irrelevance. Historically we have not shared the output, or even the fact that we “take a knee”. This year is different.

The world is moving so much more quickly, innovation and disruption have become the norm – and that means we need to partially, or massively reinvent ourselves every year. I realise we stand out as being different to most other agencies in the UK, different in the sense that we’re focussed on creating a long-term, stable, and unflustered business environment. We are never busy, and we’re proud of that – it’s in our DNA and underlines the thinking that goes on during the summer recess.

Some call it The Productive Pause, governments calls it the recess. Whatever you call it, taking a break from the day to day and thinking about the future is key to long-term survival. It also makes for a fab extended break – yes, we’re still working away, we still look after our clients, and we don’t ignore our emails. But we don’t chase new business, we don’t commit to large capital spend, we don’t start big projects.

It may seem, in a ever-competitive world, utter madness and counter-intuitive, but a planned break is exactly what the company and every individual needs to remain competitive. And to start the new year recharged, re-invigorated, and refocused on the challenges of the next year.

Our new year started on the first of August, and we’re up and firing on all cylinders (“odd metaphor, knowing the piston-derived engine is reaching the end of it’s life” Ed). The new year holds new challenges, and new approaches to deal with an evolving world. This coming year we’ll focus on:

  • concentrating our efforts on a few, highly-engaged, clients
  • net revenue, the vanity of turnover is officially banished
  • our position as the best, most service-focussed, agency in the UK
  • automating over 50% of our operational support processes
  • giving people the time to spend on quality human interactions
  • driving a culture that makes us a paragon of virtue and responsibility in business and society
  • driving value rather than a delivering a fixed-menu of services

We count ourselves very fortunate to be able to take a pause, but at the same time we feel that if we didn’t pause we’d simply run into the ground eventually. We’re lucky we have lovely clients that appreciate our approach to business, and we recognise the role they play in defining who we are.

And, finally, I’m humbled by those that choose to work with us, suppliers, clients and partners. Thanks all for a fab 2016/17 and here’s to 2018 and beyond.