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Usually this is a time for people to reflect, to look back over the past year and review what they’ve achieved or not. Plenty of people do it. It’s great, but as of last year I wanted to do something different. To not go back, but to move forward.

Therefore, if you want to know how 2015 went for me, you can scroll through my blog archive, check out my LinkedIn, and take a peek into my Twitter feed. And I did a sort of review already, which you’ll find here. Overall, 2015 was good. B+ seems a fair mark to give it.

Looking ahead, I want to concentrate on one thing: Formation London. I’m already spending more time on the company Twitter account, and I’ll be sorting out some much needed web updates soon, too. One area that I’ve been neglecting is getting new clients. I touched on this in my last post, and so it’s time to unveil what this means. There are two areas to consider: the formal, and the informal.

Formal
When I work with my current clients, I sit in their offices working alongside their staff. I’m treated as a member of the team, almost as if I’m on the payroll. This means that I’m able to get involved at a deeper and more meaningful level than if I was just contracting. I have a wider remit, and the ability to shape how some of my clients go about their business. I really enjoy this work, because it never stays the same. I’m faced with the unexpected, always.

Alongside this, when I’m not working at a client’s office, I have a number of ‘spaces’ that I can drop into. I don’t pay for these. Why? Because while I’m there, the businesses that give me a desk and the Wi-Fi password, are able to tap into my expertise. On occasion, this leads to more work for me, which is paid, and the agencies that allow to do this have access to someone they need but can’t justify full-time. I scratch their back, they scratch mine.

Taking this on in 2016, I’m launching a new service: In Residence.

It’s a simple proposition: I am invited into your organisation and allowed to be curious. I can ask questions, be involved in a variety of things and to not necessarily have to find the answers there and then. It’s a more ethnographic approach. I think this is ideal for someone, like me, who thrives on and is open to the unexpected.

Informal
I’m not a huge fan of sitting in an office. It can be stifling. A lot of very clever people are currently taking their clients out of the office for a walk. I could do that same, except I’m not looking to repeat what those clever people are already offering. Yet, the informal setting is something I would like to replicate.

Once a month, I will spend day at a designated spot – primarily in London, but I think I’m likely to take this out to other places; presently, these would seem to be Brighton and Sheffield, as they are areas I know well and have friends who can help spread the word. There I will hold The Salon, as it shall be known until I think of a better name.

I’ll be inviting people along, most probably those who i consider to be prospective clients and partners, although I’m keen to keep it as open as possible. Those that do come can stay for 5 minutes, all day, or an hour – whatever works for them. All they need to do is bring along a challenge, problem or niggle they’d like some help with. We’ll discuss them – either one-on-one or as a small group. We may hit upon a solution there and then. It may be that some In Residence time is required. It may work, or it may not. There’s only one way to find out.

Here’s to 2016
So, that’s it. Two really simple things I’ll be trialling in the next year. More details will be released over at Formation London in January. Of course, if you’re reading this and already interested in either a Formal or Informal chat then feel free to get in touch.

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