From the wilderness…a post

I just realized it has been 3 weeks since my last blog post and I apologize, dear reader, for letting you down. I will endeavour to be more consistent in the future. I have also fallen WAY behind on my RSS feeds. I HAVE been busy. I rarely blog about work, so here’s a bit of an update:

  • I facilitated a net neutrality townhall conversation at nextMEDIA (video forthcoming, I hope)
  • I finished writing a report on technology impacts on the new media sector and their implications on cultural policy for Department of Canadian Heritage and Ministére de la Culture et des Communications du Québec
  • I helped organize a successful first Open Cities unconference, which has begun a whole series of new conversations and activity
  • I successfully reframed the Creative Convergence Centres Project into the Creative Convergence Project, which the steering committee approved; the project is moving forward with a compelling scope that will focus on creative places at the building, district and city-wide scales
  • I developed a new service offering for community cultural engagement at the municipal level, including a great deal of online community practices and tools taken from our experiences with BarCamps and, particularly, from Toronto Transit Camp.

New business continues to come my way and the consulting pipeline is pretty much full through the fall. This has started me thinking about where I want to take Remarkk Consulting as a business.

Smoky Mountain Road
Smoky Mountain Road by pfly

Until now, Remarkk Consulting has been an umbrella for my own consulting work and personal passion projects. The positive feedback I get from this work tells me first of all that the combination of work and personal passion is key. It also tells me that my chosen domains at the intersection of Technology, Culture, Public Policy and/or Strategy are under-served and in need of fresh ideas and new energy at a time of profound change. So I’m in the right place, in what appears to be the right time.

As indie consultants know, we have choices to make as we grow:

  1. We can stay independent, charge more, and move up the strategic food chain.
  2. We can partner with other indies and enter into joint projects on an ad-hoc basis.
  3. We can hire staff and start building a “Practice” and a “Firm”, leverage past work through reusable knowledge that can be transferred to junior consultants.

Management is not something I necessarily want to return to, although I enjoyed the mentoring aspects of management. I am drawn to loose and agile agglomerations of talented peers – Jevon’s Manifesto for an Emerging Consultant Counter Culture – rather than more formal large organizational structures. I am also not interested in becoming one of those consultants that is so caught up in the strategic stratosphere as to lose my connection to the tangible reality of grassroots communities.

These are some of the factors I’m looking at as I consider the future directions of Remarkk Consulting. If you’ve been there before, I’d love to hear about your experiences. How do you evolve your practice in sync with your passions in a way that gives meaning to both?

4 thoughts on “From the wilderness…a post”

  1. Being further behind rather than ahead of you in pursuing my passions, I have no advice for you, but I wanted to drop a quick line to say that what you’ve shared on your blog of your work has been quite inspiring and nothing short of astounding for me. I’m sorry to have missed OpenCities! I wish you all the best as you figure out where you’re going and how best to get there!

  2. Thanks for the encouragement! We are missing you in Toronto. I really believe that we pursue identity and meaning in community with one another. I am thankful for all the great people I’ve met who inspire and encourage me. I will continue to be guided by my community, wherever the journey leads.

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