Much will be written about the UBER rebrand. Much already has. So I’m not going to mull over its interesting choice of fonts, its dynamic colour palette that is regionally flexible, or its clever iconography that will allow it to expand to take over, well, almost everything.

The thing that every CEO should be pondering right now is this: they did it themselves. They talked to undoubtedly the best in the business and still, they decided to do it themselves. The days when the world of tech and agency were best friends a la Apple and Chiat Day are, well so very 1984.

And before you write this off as limited only to the design skillset, make no mistake, that the “trend” of in-house is a reality for all – whether it’s delivering communications, PR or CRM… the list goes on.

The in-house trend is being driven by two forces. One of them is actually a credit to the creative services industry, the other, its key failing.

To the industry’s credit, the power of branding, design, communications and PR are as well recognised as ever. In fact, they are so well recognised that the notion of leaving them to an outsider is an anathema. Take the speed of a social media crisis – it really requires internally empowered teams to act, not a well-indemnified pack of advisers.

The industry’s failing however is a cultural one. The agency promise used to be a culture full of fun, variety, and inclusion. But the truth of many jobs is draining, repetitive work, done with higher pressure and lower reward. And the industry still has regular reportage on evidence that it is hostile to women. Ask a graduate whether they would rather work at Uber or last year’s agency of the year? This is not a survey I think we need to validate.

I’m sure many of you reading this will jump up and down pointing to fabulous agency partnerships and I have no doubt that it’s true, because like any trend, we are talking about the movement of the line on the graph not the size of the axis.

And, like you, I loathe those “chicken-little” style articles that claim the sky is falling in. So let me be clear, it isn’t. But we need to think about what a creative services client will really want in the future. The growth and opportunities are there – they will just be in very different sizes and shapes.

So what might they be? Well I can only share what we’ve been asked for, and what we are hearing.

1) Large organisations increasingly need help with facilitation. Whether that’s across multiple agencies, multiple sources of data, or multiple silo’s within the business. If your relationships and interactions are just with people that have the word “marketing” in the title you can easily be insourced or replaced. That we have good ideas helps, but what helps more is our ability to develop those ideas as part of cross-functional, wide-reaching teams.

2) Smaller organisations will always need external help, unable to afford to fully insource some of what we do. But that requires us to re-price and adapt to the projects these businesses can afford, and be truly generous with what we give and teach. Trust me, it’s profitable and rewarding, especially when these businesses are new or in a state of renewal.

3) We have to demonstrate that we have truly learned our own lessons. Not through some case study full of execution and cherry picked statistics. But through practical application and skin in the game.  The best way is to start building stuff of our own. Real stuff that hits the shelves (or in the case of our Fonzarelli partnership, stuff that takes to the streets).

Avoid flashy, impractical things designed for awards and a few YouTube views – your clients are too smart for that. Investing in your own ideas doesn’t come cheap, it may even require forgoing a flashy party or maybe some of this years management bonus. But your staff will be stoked to be working in a place that does dynamic things like the ones they truly use and admire, and some of these ideas may go on to pay for themselves several times over in the end.

If UBER is doing it, you can bet that a bunch of companies who admire UBER will soon follow suit. The future of businesses and those that advise them will look very different. But thinking differently should be what we do every day.