As some people may know, I was quite active during the national lock-down earlier this year - supporting a range of colleges, businesses, social enterprise support bodies, and others to consider, plan, and then enact their respective responses to the first wave of the pandemic.
And as part of my own practice of 'professional reflection', rather than another 'pithy blog' or twitter snippets about what I'd done and thought about during this time, I thought I'd do something a little more in-depth, and draft a white paper. This paper is still available on-line (just share and confirm your email and it should automatically get sent to you). And I was surprised at not just how many people downloaded it within the first week of it going out but also the sheer variety of roles and sectors they represented.
Many who read it also kindly offered some thoughts as to how the paper had prompted them to think further on their own respective responses and current thinking about the coming 6 months. And in the spirit of trying to openly keep encouraging conversation and discussion, I elected to share the themes of these comments in a Facebook Live.
The Facebook live also served another purpose - to act as an addendum to the white paper: after all, a lot can happen in a few weeks during a pandemic, and more data is coming out all the time about how different communities and ways of working are being affected.
And just as the original white paper has attracted more interest than a dared to hope, the Facebook Live had more people watching the broadcast as it happened than I thought might have , and continues to be shared by others and the watch count keeps going up...! (If you missed it, here's the link to catch it again).
Now don't worry - there is a point to my regurgitating this precis of my new life as a one-man policy think-tank.
And it's this - based on how people engaged with the white paper, and the comments and ongoing interest to my Facebook Live, it seems to suggest that we're not satisfied in seeking answers from within our own usual circles. We're starting to realise the benefit of going 'outside' our own marketplaces, industries, and sectors in seeking perspectives and understandings. And when we do, what we find seems to generally help assure and better inform us about the ways in which we're now making decisions about the future.
So my closing challenge to you, dear reader, is this - who can you talk with, or what can you read, that is outside of your usual daily work or life in offering you a fresh perspective in helping you make your own sense of the ever-changing world we now find ourselves (trying to) live and work in?