You can help make a difference.
We have a real challenge in the workplace generally around mental health – how to approach the subject – how to deal with it – how to avoid it. This is also true in the marketing agency world.
There is no getting away from it – it is a difficult and sensitive subject. We are dealing with human emotions here and normally very strong and powerful emotions at that.
As a community I believe that we have a responsibility to address this challenge, and I would like as many agency owners (Agency Local members and non members) to come together to discuss and work through the challenges.
Mental Health operates on three levels:
1. Agency Owner – Being a leader of a business (however small or large) can have a big impact on you personally. The responsibility, the challenges, the impact on time and personal life. Your own personal health and wellbeing is imperative.
2. Workforce – As an agency owner you have an obligation to look after your employees and your workforce. Often Mental Health issues are not overtly visible, sometimes the culture means the workers do not feel comfortable to open up, they don’t want to be judged or to be seen to be weak. You define the workplace – it is upto you to create the right environment.
3. Others around us
Mental health is just you and your workforce. It applies to everyone around you. In business terms – others you interact with – colleagues, suppliers, partners, associates as well as you friends and family.
Agencies handle this area in different ways. I believe that there are four types of agency workplaces:
Ignorance – Are not aware of the impact of mental health on themselves, their workforce and their suppliers and partners – they simply don’t know about it or address it in any way.
Ignore – Are aware of the challenge and situation but choose to nothing about it
Intention – Have realised the situation and that it is an issue but don’t know how to deal with it.
Action – those that are taking steps to create a safer workspace where the issue is in the open
Unfortunately there are not too many in the later category. Our aim is to move Ignorance and Ignore into a state of Intention and to move those in Intention to Action.
May is Mental Health awareness month and in the UK we have Mental health Awareness week in May 9th – 15th.
At Agency Local we are dedicating the month of May to this subject and we have 4 objectives:
Raise awareness of mental health and the issues around it
Have the open discussion to increase understanding
Highlight practical ways to help yourself
Create guidelines to help agencies on the journey to creating the right workspace
This needs to be more than awareness, more than discussion – it needs to be focused on Action.
That is why at the end of May I hope to publish Guidelines for Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Agency Workspace.
We have lined up a series of events on each Thursday throughout May. We have invited knowledgeable people to come along and share their knowledge and expertise.
I need your help, in terms of your input, your ideas, your views and your knowledge to work with us all to shape this agenda.
I would like your participation at as many of the events as possible.
I would like you to bring along other Agency Owners to join in the discussion
I want to hear your thoughts and views
We have the following calendar of events
5th – Round the Campfire – Special event to hear real life stories and discuss triggers and causes.
Awareness of the impact of Mental Health challenges.
12th – Ask the Expert – Self care and personal wellness
Talks from four experts on looking after yourselves.
19th – Insight Event – Creating the wellbeing workplace
Keynote speakers will be talking about how we can create the right environment within our agencies.
26th – Workshop – Developing the Wellbeing guidelines for the agency workplace
The output for the month – we need your input to develop guidelines and best practise.
Lindengate – Charity Lindengate Mental Health Charity,
The Special events will be open to all. The normal Agency Local events that are chargeable to non members will remain chargeable however 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Lindengate.
We will be asking all members and non members to make a donation to support this charity.
Firstly they are an amazing charity in the Mental Health space.
Secondly, Agency Local Member and longtime supporter, Owen Hughes and his wife, Charlie are cycling London to Paris to raise money for Lindengate so we will be supporting them and the charity. Charlie, also works for Lindengate. So it’s a win – win – win!
Just Giving page to make a donation.
We look forward to you participating and helping to make our sector a stronger and healthy area to work.
More information can be found here.
The January Agency Local BookClub is How to be a Six Star Business.
This is a book with 22 authors contributing their collective wisdom to create a knowledge bank and a guide to some of the best practices when running and growing a business. This is not specific to creative and marketing agencies, however the principles discussed are as relevant to agencies as they are to other businesses.
6 Star Concept
The concept of striving to be a 6 Star Business is a great one. Why settle for 5 stars as per the normal ratings? When 6 Stars will put you above the rest – make you stand out and be distinctive. This is how your business will grow and take off.
It is this idea that attracted me to the 6 Star community. I loved this aspiration.
I was extremely honoured when asked to contribute a chapter to the book, and of course I jumped at the chance.
My passion is helping people – as is the objective of this book. So being able to contribute a part was amazing. Being in the company of some extraordinary people was humbling.
The book covers so many different areas including:
Culture, purpose, love, profitability, legacy, community, collaboration, self worth, story telling to name a few.
Agency Local Book Club
It would have been very remiss of me not to name this book – How to be a 6 Star Business – as the book of the month for January!
The purpose of the book club is to promote continual learning as I outlined in this post here.
As a Christmas gift and to provide some inspiration for the new Year every member of the Agency Local Community received a copy of the book.
This was partly to provide inspiration to improve an aspect of their business but it also came with an invitation to the BookClub meeting on 1st February. No excuses now!
Note: As I keep saying – you don’t have to have read the book to attend the BookClub meeting as the value is totally in the conversation around the key messages in the book.
BookClub meeting with a difference.
A couple of times last year we had BookClub meetings with the Authors and these were brilliant.
So this month I am getting as many of the Authors that contributed to the 6 Star Business book to join us. At the time of writing we have 11 authors joining us including: Aveline Clarke, Our very own Remeny Armitage, Endre Hoffmann, Gorgie Hope, Rob Drummond, Cristina Castro, Alan Wick, David hubbard, Chris Thornhill.
Some of the authors are based in Australia and they are taking the time to join us late in their evening. This will be a great session.
Join Us – Put the date in your diary
Everyone is welcome to join us at the BookClub meeting – enjoy the discussion around the key topics in the book – quiz the authors to go deeper – there are some wonderful minds coming to the meeting – this is your opportunity to tap in, learn something that will improve your business in 2022.
See you there!
(Booking details on the events page)
For the first time in 18 months, we had a face to face Agency Local event!
At our recent May Insight (which was online), we polled the community and gave them the choice of ‘traditional’ in-person Insight event with keynote speaker and formal agenda, or, to come together for a purely social gathering. The result was a resounding 100% in favour of a social!
So, the July Insight became an ‘Agency Social’. I must say, it was absolutely wonderful to be able to meet in person again. It was great to catch up with people in a relaxed environment where the discussion was vibrant and flowing (like the beer!) Best of all, it was so nice to meet people for the first time that I have known for over a year but only through Zoom or Remo!
It was marvellous to put bodies to a face! And in traditional Agency Local style, pizzas were served and consumed! I know lots of people could not make it for a number of reasons, from childcare to not being well. Another obstacle was distance; we now have members throughout the UK which makes it challenging to hold social events that all can attend.
Nonetheless, a huge thank you to all that came. To those that couldn’t, we look forward to seeing you at the next Agency Local event. You never know, this face-to-face style event may even catch on!
Until next time.
Other business coaches or advisors will hate me for saying this and giving away this secret.
The principle I’m about to share with you is not rocket science. It is logical. However, as with most principles, it is the execution that delivers the levels of success. It is also one main cause for business failure or stagnation.
2020 has certainly been an unusual year for everyone, not only for businesses. With the office-based workforce all working from home, this experience, for some has been rather isolating. This isolation is something that has been felt across all industries including agencies.
That is why collaboration between agencies on a number of factors is more important now than it ever has been. As business owners we are all guilty of feeling that other agencies are ‘competition’ or the ‘enemy’ but in fact the opposite is true.