Stopping at the buffers
This weekend is one of the busiest on the roads, and I hear that more than 130,000 travellers will be on the Eurostar over the holiday period.
It's been a crazy time at LWOE recently too but now there's the chance to stop for a while and reflect on the work of the last few months.
There has been lots of travel; the odd Eurostar trip included which is always a favourite. Some new clients, new consulting partnerships and interventions that have felt like good, worthwhile work. There have also been a few projects that, often with my heart in my mouth, I have turned down when resources have felt stretched or when the client wasn't in the right place for us to work together well.
Overall, the start of the year has been a great success and has resulted in a real gear shift in workload so we are making changes back at base... But now it's time to pause and check the direction, quality and rigour of the work.
I'm asking myself some of the questions that I often ask of my clients:
- What are we trying to do here? What is the focus of this work and how will it serve the people well?
- What is the unique contribution that we can offer and what will we energetically, whole-heartedly and joyfully put our work out into the world?
- How can we work in a way that is economical and has impact? What's 'the difference that will make a difference?'
- How are we working with both uncertainty and innovation? What patterns emerge in our interactions?
- In what ways can we support the growth and effectiveness of our colleagues and clients?
- Ultimately, what will we be proud of? What will we tell our children?
It's fair to note that these reflective questions often seem to have no obvious answer.
But that's not the point of the inquiry; the questions focus our intent and, as the invisible structures in our thinking become evident, then the potential for generative shifts and deeper, more systemic change becomes clear.