I was on Osea Island this summer for the second Off Grid Sessions and was chatting to an old friend. She used to be a planner on the agency side and had recently moved over to become a client, I'm going to call her Alex.
Alex absolutely loved the ECD she had worked alongside with in her old agency - they just had the most briliant relationship and the creative ideas that they generated were award-winning. When Alex arrived at her new job, she tried to find out if she could hire her ECD for a few days a month, or to be at the end of a phone call when she need to bounce ideas off someone. The agency said no. Impossible it didn't work like that. You couldn't just hire individuals without the whole system. Alex was frustrated. The ECD was frustrated. The agency system and structure had got in the way of skillsets.
That's when it struck me how hard it can be for clients to "buy" agency services. To use a restaurant analogy, It seems like agencies want clients to have the 5 course set menu complete with wine pairings, while increasingly clients want something a bit more like Yo Sushi - a bit of this, a plate of that, a taste of something else - all delivered to them quickly in a easy system, easy to order, easy to buy.
A new flexible operating system needs to make doing business as easy as possible. Increasing that seems to be to strip away as much structure and systems as possible to let talent connect at a more senior and engaged level not only with the client but also with other people.