I've been working this week on a workshop for a new client aiming to encourage collaboration. It feels a little strange working on it on my own, planning out the day and designing activities to support the group to work together more effectively. It's the kind of thing I'd previously have done, erm, collaboratively. With my team.
I'm the team now. It's interesting for me to adapt the way I naturally work, and will be insightful to see how it all pans out the day. My collaborators on the day will be the people in the room.
Working together seems like such a natural 'thing' to me. It's clearly not to many others, or at least not an easy prospect.
I've tried to tap into some of the potential 'fears' about partnership working and then quickly turn them into positives which will hopefully enhance rather than distract from the eventual outcome.
Working alone can seem easier, quicker, more efficient perhaps. You just get on with it. But working with others can bring new ideas, a different direction and support for ideas. It can take longer. If it's not natural to you, or your team, or to the people that you would hope to collaborate with, I can help you.
I've always been drawn to roles where I've been able to do lots of different jobs, at different times, and in different places. I've been fortunate that the jobs I've had have been very varied from the start, but also that I've been able to develop things so that variety becomes the standard. It's helped me to stay in my roles for a good length of time, and also helped the organisations I've worked for to diversify. Win win.
Now that I am working for myself, that variety is still crucial to me. It's one of the main reasons for making the switch, and something I don't want to lose sight of. Outside of my consultancy work, I will be continuing my writing, obsession with food and food history, research and academic presentations. I'm hoping that I will be fortunate enough to get involved with a variety of clients in my consultancy role too.
The clients and contracts (yes, plural!) I have so far meet my brief. They are jobs I want to do, working with people I want to support, working to make a real difference. This is important to me. It's also important that I maintain contact with other 'peers' and not become isolated 'working alone'.
To bring even more variety my way, and to help me to remain 'connected' I am delighted to have been asked to join Wren & Greyhound as an Associate Consultant. I've long admired Graeme and his work, and can't wait to get started on some really interesting jobs together.
The quest for variety brings with it the need to be a skilled juggler. You're unlikely to see me with balls, clubs or flaming torches, but juggling is something I've done all my career. If you're looking to develop more variety in your organisation, or perhaps you have been dropping some of the balls lately, maybe I can help.
Being first can feel great. Being first can feel scary. Being first can feel uncertain.
Whichever way it is, someone has to be first. Whether we like it or not, life is full of firsts. No-one really remembers the second time they did anything, do they? Nothing compares to the first.
My new journey into the freelance word is full of firsts. My first week not being employed by someone else. My first website. My first email. The first time time I said 'can I give you my business card, maybe I can help you?' The first contract I applied for. The first proposal. The first interview. The first email saying I was successful...
For my first client, it's a first too - their first consultant. There's lots for us to work out together. The process hasn't been at all as I had expected, which has given me a glimpse into their organisation. I can see even before my first day with them how I can help. It feels good. I'm hoping it will be the first of many.
If you're thinking about doing something differently, you can no longer be my first, but you can still take the first step. Get in touch if you think I can help you.
We all have a natural tendency to look back. Thinking about the times when life or work seemed better. Easier. Less complicated. To a time when we knew all the answers. Or so it seemed.
I'm as nostalgic as the next person, but I spend as much time looking forward too.
We can learn from how things have gone before, but the trick is to remain focused on how things are now, and how things are likely to be. We can't travel back in time, and the reality often is, if we do, things are quite different from our memories.
Looking back helps us to focus on what comes next. I've been doing a lot of reflection as I transit to working for myself. It might seem that I have little to look back on, as I've never been self-employed before. But I do. The skills I have built up, the experience, the knowledge, the learning can all be applied as I move forward. More importantly my enthusiasm and positivity are key to making change, doing things differently for myself, but remaining grounded in the 'success' factors in the past that have got me to this stage.
Reviewing can be hard. Moving forward can be hard. Seeing the connection between the two is essential. If it's not clear to you, perhaps I can help you.
Change. It can be a scary word. It can strike fear into some people. Some people would rather run for the hills or bury their heads in the sand than do something different. Change is not something that features on some peoples agenda.
For others, it's something to embrace. To be welcomed. To thrive on.
It certainly is for me. I love change. Throughout my career I've made sure that my roles have changed and developed as time has gone on. As a result, the organisations have changed too. Opportunities for my colleagues have changed. I always seem to have left each role just when it felt right, just when it was in a good place and just when it was time.
This most recent change from 'employed' to 'freelance' is my most exciting yet. I'm sure it will take me a while to get my head round it all. This morning was the first Monday in 30 years that I've woken up not 'employed' by anyone else. How does it work? What should I do? I went out for a walk, choosing a different route than normal, breathing in the positive changes all around me. The wind was higher, the sun brighter and the leaves were blowing all over my path. Everything is changing. I am happy about that.
Change. It's a positive word for me. If you are about to enter a period of change yourself and are feeling a little apprehensive about it, I can help you. Maybe you just don't know where to start. I can help you. If you're unsure what things might look like in there future, I can help you.
HI, I'm Kevin and Third Quarter is my Consultancy. Follow my adventures here...