Occasionally, an agency gets fired over a single mishap, such as a poorly executed tweet by a young staffer, or a major round-up story that names all of a client’s competitors, but leaves out the client.
Generally, though, agency/client relationships disintegrate bit by bit rather than in one fell swoop. Even if a key account team member leaves the agency, a good client is likely to give its agency the opportunity to replenish the account. Things work much the same way as they do in personal relationships. Friendships and romantic relationships break down over the course of weeks, months and years. Organizations, like people, can simply grow apart.
Experienced business leaders can sometimes see a relationship train wreck coming miles away, despite best efforts to preserve the parternship. That’s not always the case, though. People tend to become quite good at camouflaging honest opinions and feelings, hoping things will improve on their own. Folks want to avoid an uncomfortable situation: the dreaded confrontation. Confrontation brings change, and making changes in our lives, both professional and personal, can be so darn hard.