2008: Back to work….there’s lots to do!

Happy New Year! It’s been an overly long holiday vacation from the blog. I thought I would start the year with a declaration of intent and an ask for your help and insight.

It’s a busy time for Remarkk! at the moment. I’m moving into the final strategy and writing phase for the Creative Convergence Project, completing the engagement strategy and web site launch for Municipal Cultural Planning Partnership and exciting TransitCamp-related developments are coming including the pending publication of an article in the February Harvard Business Review with co-authors Eli Singer and Jay Goldman. Every week, exciting new prospects, ideas, community projects and startup opportunities pop up. I am looking forward to chatting with the folks at the Founders & Funders dinner as well as the inspiring Lift Conference in Geneva. It’s a great outlook for 2008.

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While we’re at it, maybe work-life balance should be on this list somewhere. The wonderful thing about this life I have is how work and life really make up a meaningful and integrated whole. Maybe this is my rationalization for not “having a life” in the traditional domestic bliss sense. It may be an integrated whole, but if I’m honest with myself, it’s not really that balanced and I need to work on that.

I’m wrestling with the question of how to scale my business while maintaining my focus on the things I find personally meaningful, my purpose and the strength that has come from my independence. My preferred mode of taking on more and larger projects is to collaborate with other independent or freelance creative pros whom I know and trust. People who, like me, want to innovate, make meaning and change the world while offering each other complementary skills and capabilities. Maybe you are one of those people.

So, what kinds of capabilities am I looking for in my soulmate-collaborators? Well, here’s a list of the things that tend to be asked of me by clients and prospects:

  • community research
  • community engagement strategy
  • branding and graphic design
  • web design & implementation (yes, social media/community sites!)
  • open space/unconference style events to support creative collaboration
  • community management and evangelism
  • policy, technology and industry research in entertainment, cultural & creative industries
  • innovation strategy development and writing
  • project management

My strength has always been my ability to cross these various domains with relative ease and to synthesize it all in a meaningful way. But I know I can’t keep DOING it all if I’m going to be effective and deliver all the value I have to offer. Meanwhile, I’ve got some work to do in focusing my service offering, positioning my brand and rationalizing my workflow and project portfolio.

I stubbornly resist well-established methods of growing a service-based business. I want to know:

How can a network of innovative professionals work in a way that effectively competes with a traditional integrated firm?

Because I talk the talk of open source, co-creation and community-driven innovation, I want to live it. I’m putting myself out to my community to ask for your insights as I develop Remarkk further in 2008. If you’re part of my community and have insights to share on these questions, or have some of these complimentary capabilities, I’d love to hear from you. Coffee is on me.