When you’re finished changing, you’re finished. In our own organizations, roles are evolving at a blistering pace to keep up with the latest industry advancements. We’re forced to adapt in order to survive and grow, and the status quo isn’t just changing for some. Even traditional agency processes like hiring and contracting are evolving. From strategy to operations to production, solving these new challenges requires teams of quick and nimble learners.

However, adaptability will only take us so far. To lead the next wave of changes we must be aware of future trends, especially as the “innovative” approaches from just a few years ago become commonplace, creating a more competitive landscape that includes scalable tools, traditional consultancies, and in-house teams.

Creating original, engaging, and personalized experiences will be key in differentiating ourselves and finding new opportunities to grow. Users are smarter and yet more distracted than ever, meaning we need to value better ways to create trust and connect with audiences just as much as our ability to automate those interactions. Looks like we’ve got some more time before we’re replaced by our robot overlords. While we know technology and personalization will continue to create new possibilities, the future is still far from certain.

Fortunately, we can guide ourselves in the right direction by experimenting responsibly, using research and analytics to future-proof our business. Experimenting with new technologies and processes prevents us from getting caught flat-footed and provides us with useful experience. As part of this approach, we should consider testing more of the core aspects of agency business and choose the best path forward.

Enjoy this collection of brilliant thinking within the Agency Leadership section of The SoDA Report!

This article was originally published in the 2017 SoDA Report.