Series 2 - Episode 3 - We good?

It’s been a long while, I shouldn’t have left you. But I did. Things around here are starting to look and feel… stable. That’s new. What is this funny feeling? Is it the idea that death isn’t impending. That we will definitely exist in 6 months time. Well hello there feeling. I might just enjoy this for a moment. Take a look at the plants, smile at the good people and then breathe. Yes boss. That’s been an adventure. I liked doing it together. Let’s keep going.

Had a session with Georg Fasching where we discussed how to avoid the standard traps of agency life. I’ve realised I’m interested in the work, and the people i’m working with. The vehicle is just the vehicle. In fact, it’s not a vehicle. It’s an organism. Which is just the people. Our relationships, norms and tools. I’m naturally good with the relationships. The norms and tools. Christ. Thought I was better than I am. Shout out to all the good delivery people I didn’t realise I depended on quite so much. Love you. You dunno what you got till it’s gone.

Timesheets and utilisation is a standard measurement for agencies - how much time is anyone working on a client project. It feels like a terrible measure of success. Quality of work, how I feel and cashflow are really what I’m aiming for. But having something a little simpler to track and predict would make my cortisol levels drop a touch. Outcomes are great. But everything isn’t a spreadsheet. Kickbacks and financial incentive structures always feel…dirty? Or too powerful. Or something I can’t quite figure out yet.

I’ve read a couple of times about not getting stuck in the trap between being a partnership that works and an agency that is self-sustaining. That the space between those is the trap of continuous almost death that you want to avoid.

I can see that being true if you promise people (inflated?) wages and then build an payroll cost you just have to hit. But. Yeah. No? Not that?

What if the mastery looks more like a film production house. Skilled people on reasonable wages or rates. Swarming. All for one, one for all. Then away. Reminisce about the good times. Spend good patient time percolating a sequel. Or an offshoot. Let’s hang out more. No, not all time is charged. Only the intentional stuff is.  And if so. Hold it lightly. Amazingly there is probably enough money to go around. What a privilege. Especially these days.

We were chatting with Max Cooke a few weeks ago - the culture around doing sessions among writers and musicians feels exciting, generative and kind. Feel your way into it. Yeah, a usual session is 6hrs. But if you are onto a winner stick it out till midnight.

Anyway. Starting to feel like we know what a full team looks like. Missing a couple of skills. We know what good play looks like. We need a pre-season. And perhaps a couple of seasons. But we are good. And we will be better. And knowing that? That’s niiiice.


June 12, 2023