After a lovely summer of long days, warm weather, chainsaw training and lots of relaxation, it's time for me to start working again in earnest. The shift to a new year is always a scary time for me - and probably for everyone who runs their own business. What work will come in? Will it be interesting? Rewarding? Challenging? Or will it be a case of taking what I can get? Join me as I set ou my stall for the next 12 months and get back on the business bike, reflecting as I go about why I do this and what's in it for you.
Life is a rollercoaster...
... And we've just gotta ride it. Some very wise words from Ronan Keaton there, and ones I've taken as a kind of mantra over the past 8 years. Some time ago, I wrote a pretty honest post about how challenging my business year had been. And, to continue that honesty, the ups and downs of running a business never really goes away. I was lucky enough to find some good work during lockdown, and I have a handful of repeat clients that I've worked with over the past few years. I've won a few really interesting tenders, and they formed the bulk of my work more recently. But, at the start of each new financial year, you just never know what's going to come up. What projects will be advertised? Will I win any of that work? Will anyone want to - or have the money to - pay for consultancy support? These thoughts stay with me pretty much all of the time, but I'm happy to say I'm learning to cope with the uncertainty more and more. Instead of panicking, I'm actually relishing the time I have to reach out and reconnect, write more content and develop new ideas. So bring it on, Ronan - I'm ready for you!
My favourite things
Leaving Ronan's rollercoaster, I seem to be heading for the Alps! I like to take some time to reflect on the work I've enjoyed most – and why – and then use this to inform how I go about approaching the year ahead. Since September 2021, I've had a really varied workload, working on projects from skills audits to strategy and systems. I've created new content for workshops, covering research impact, bid development, and writing skills. I've even branched out into some formal systems mapping. And I've worked with different clients to create content that really helps to share key messages, both as presentations (my first PechaKucha!) and in reports. And, I must say, I've enjoyed all the work I've done! Why? Well, the variety has been awesome, working in different locations and with really different people. Some of the projects have been really challenging, unpicking really sticky issues and spending time developing useful recommendations. And I've loved creating new content, be that for my own workshops or for clients, with a renewed focus on clear communication. Let's hope 2022 brings a similar mix!
To work or not to work with Lucidity?
That is the question! Lucidity certainly isn't your standard consultancy service and I pride myself on bringing something different to the party. I really do believe that consultants should be there to question what you do, to reveal different perspectives and to come up with sensible ideas that can help, while leaving you with a set of tools and information that you can use in the future. And I believe that this process should be as open as possible and informed by as many voices as possible, including those who might disagree. I think there's real value in having an external perspective, one that's not clouded by the internal politics that affect all organisations, and that this perspective should – where needed – challenge the status quo. My work is always based in research, taking a broad view of the context in which each client operates. And I try to present findings and recommendations in ways that are clear, easy to understand and practical. This means Lucidity won't meet everyone's needs, but I hope that it makes at least some of you excited about the prospect of working with us.