Back to Work

I re-opened my consulting business a few weeks ago, and I’m already getting inquiries. (Hooray!) So far, most people are calling me for one-on-one coaching, the one service I decided to remove from my portfolio. With luck I’ll find a good facilitation gig, a retreat to lead, or a group of managers to train. And I figure if I don’t have any good leads by May I’ll restart the business development engine.

Happily, a graduate-school friend invited me to join her Cycle of Inquiry group, which is OD-speak for “let’s get together and explore important questions about our profession.” So I popped up to Bellingham for my first business meeting in nearly two years.

It was so nice to talk about organizational development after my time away! At our meeting I was reminded of flip charts and markers, check-ins and norm-setting–the air I used to breathe! And I was amused by the fruity consulting language that used to seem normal to me.

We don’t talk, we articulate.

We don’t meet, we convene.

We don’t learn, we engage in reflective practice.

Truth be told, I haven’t missed the language of OD. My time away from conference rooms has disenchanted me, just a little bit, and I’m still sensitive to anything that sounds buzzwordy. But language aside, my companions for this Cycle of Inquiry are smart, funny, and wise, and I know we’ll have a great year together.

What we agreed on is that we’re interested in bringing ethics and advocacy into our work. Corporate culture can make that difficult, and part of our job is helping leaders see their role in serving more than just profit. So how do we do that? It’s a powerful line of questioning.

My, how things change! When I was a baby consultant, back in 2006, my biggest worry was finding work, period. Now, my concern is being used as a cheerleader for the wrong kinds of initiatives. You’d think it would be easy to avoid such missteps, but it isn’t.

It was a good start!

Now it’s time to convene with my manuscript and check-in on how I can get this draft done before we go to Japan in late March. In the end I hope to have a meeting of the minds with my inner wisdom and develop meaningful synergy between my intention to be productive and my need to maintain a positive flow state while working creatively.

See! I’m a consultant again!

HAHAHAHAHAAAAAAaaaa….. now excuse me while I go wash my mouth out with soap.

Cheri's Blog @cheri
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