Well, actually before I dive in, I should provide some background to give context...
At any one point, I’m actively working with about 5 clients helping them define their direction around use of technology to support human performance. I will also be working a little bit with roughly 5-10 other clients. I typically talk with 2 or 3 new prospects each week who come to me randomly mostly based on personal introductions from people I know or through my various speaking, writing, blogging, etc. I spend probably 1-2 hours initially looking at what they are doing, and offering high level thoughts. A small percentage of these turn into actual clients and some percentage of the clients who engage my for consulting turn into clients who engage the designers, architects and developers from my staff.
In general, I love doing this. I really enjoy looking at a wide variety of interesting challenges and new ideas in different kinds of organizations. It’s fun to work for a lot of different people who often bring very creative ideas and varied skill sets. Life is not dull. In fact, if I could summarize my biggest challenge - and it's the same challenge every year - it's finding more interesting people, companies, etc. to talk to about what they are thinking about doing and trying to figure out creative ways to help. Of course, I need to break this down and think through this in more detail ...
So, when I look at 2008, some challenges jump out at me:Challenge #1 - How do I balance time spent between blogging, direct conversations, small group virtual conversations, small group networking, speaking at virtual conferences, speaking at conferences and writing?
My goals for all of this are to accelerate my learning, continue to build my network, and find interesting opportunities. In terms of accelerating learning, blogging is definitely the best for me. However, I still get many more discussions with prospects through personal interaction and blogging lags a bit on that front. When I sit back and look at how I was introduced to various opportunities, my personal network that was built through years of different kinds of face-to-face interactions is still the biggest winner. Part of this is that geography has impact. The closer someone is, the more likely I am to work with them.
But maybe I'm missing better choices here. Can I be doing things different online to build personal relationships that rival what I have in my face-to-face network? Will this net more interesting opportunities? Challenge #2 - How can I help individuals within corporations become better at work / learning skills? I'm convinced there is a need here. People need help. I’m pursing a bunch of different avenues here to get smart on this topic. More on this during the year.
Challenge #3 - How do I get involved in more projects that really will make a difference? The projects I like the most are those where I'm working directly with a start-up on their core systems, or working with a company where the project will impact people in a way that directly ties to the bottom line. There's no question of whether it has impact. There's obvious linkage to what matters. I see this happen on projects such as:
- Metrics-driven performance support tools
- Performance support tools and workflow
- Integrated psychometric models
- Matching Algorithm
Challenge #4 - Get smart on Advisory roles that would make sense
Out of the many people I talk to, in some cases it might make sense to take an Advisory role. Several have asked. Normally the conversation stops as we mutually struggle with defining a model that works.
- I have to figure out what some of these models might be.
- I have to figure out if and when it makes sense for me to take Advisory roles.