The future of work may mean more time working independently, but does that mean more time alone? If so, how do you manage that? In our latest survey to consultants you told us you wanted to connect. We have been speaking to some of our consultants to find out what connecting really means and how it can be of value.
Chris is an independent consultant to manufacturing organisations. With the strapline "Sharpening your cutting edge" he helps them to improve business processes and deliver on the bottom line.
How do you overcome the solo feeling of independent working?
By visiting clients, speaking to people on the telephone, networking, attending events with topics of interest, etc.
What was the last non-human object you spoke to in the absence of a colleague?
That would be my dog, who has a bed in my home office.
What’s the longest you’ve gone without talking to another human?
Whenever I’m working on a proposal, or writing up a piece of work, I can probably go 8 – 10 hours without speaking to someone. It is actually quite useful to be alone for this process as I can focus on it fully without distractions.
How do you bounce ideas around when you’re on your own
Being on my own doesn’t mean being incommunicado. I tend to meet with people to test ideas. Failing that, I use the phone or email. Much of my success depends on feedback from the client’s value-adding activity, so I tend to be creative in situ, rather than in isolation, and that enables rapid improvement in the quality of my thoughts and client outcomes.
What does your ideal virtual network look like?
It’s a mix of things: membership of professional networks such as Talmix, and traditional organisations with an online presence; and managed/screened social media – such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Ideally, I would engage with relevant content and feedback on a daily basis – following up leads, send proposals, post content, etc. (In practice, I think there’s plenty of room for improvement in my social media engagement.)
How do you keep in touch with your industry / market to ensure you stay relevant?
I’m an active member of the Institute of Directors, attending relevant events, webinars, and seminars. I subscribe to several newsfeeds/newsletters from other institutions or organisations I feel are of interest. I also attend networking events laid on by a variety of different organisations.
If you want to find out more about what Talmix could do to help you connect with other consultants get in touch!
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