In order to satisfy the rapidly changing needs of our clients, I want to merge our six operating units — creative, media, digital, data & analytics, PR, and branding — into a single business, with one identity, one CEO, one P&L and one office. However, I know that if I implement this plan our divisional CEOs will head straight for the exit. But if I don’t pursue this course of action our clients will head in the same direction and we’ll be out of business.

How can we escape from this Catch-22 situation?

We’re under pressure to reinvent our business model, but alternative forms of remuneration still bring us nose-to-nose with the client’s procurement people. They’ve no idea how great ideas come into being, they scrutinize every aspect of the project, and they screw us on price. Margins are shrinking and we’re finding it increasingly hard to do our best work.
How can we change the game?

Tentative plans to move our office to an unfashionable part of the city have leaked onto the grapevine. Discontent is running high and the partisan faction is growing. There are rumours that some of our most talented creatives are being courted by Accenture and Deloitte (who are already eating away at our client base), while a couple of senior people are said to be thinking about starting their own agency. But the move is essential if we’re to improve our ailing P&L.
What’s the best way of responding to this situation?

As you reflect on the three examples, you may think to yourself: “I know the answer to that one.”

But it’s impossible for you to know the answer, because you don’t know the question. You’ve just read a few sentences.

Imagine a business that’s facing all three problems at once. It could be they’re three manifestations of a single underlying problem, and that by resolving it the three presenting problems are laid to rest with no further effort required.

So we never accept the client’s problem at face value.

A Canaveral mission always begins with an exploratory mission called a probe, which is a voyage into the deepest recesses of the presenting problem.

The probe enables each member of the mission team to understand the true nature of the problem, in all its messy complexity.

Each probe is custom-designed.

In fact, everything we do is custom-designed.

Here is an indicative programme of work:


Read more about the Canaveral way of transforming tough problems into ambitious outcomes

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Contact Jack Martin Leith and get the conversation started