The times are changing and disruption is everywhere, affecting everyone from small agencies to major networks. Addressing this change and finding new ways to succeed is essential – which is why the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) invited several people with different industry perspectives, from independent agencies to the larger networks and consultancies, to share their views at its annual Business Growth Conference (London, July 2018).

The network outlook: keeping talent

Representing larger agency networks, Tim Castree, Global CEO at Wavemaker, emphasised the intrinsic mortality of large businesses. In the words of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos: “One day, a disruptive company is going to come along and put Amazon out of business. And, my job as the CEO is to make that day as far off into the future as possible.”

There are no businesses which are “not immune to the forces of disruption over time,” Castree stated. And while he did not believe that it was possible to permanently “future-proof your business”, he argued that businesses should still try to attend to the second part of the Bezos ethos. “How do we prolong the game? How do we get fairly paid? How do we grow?”