DESPITE THE FACT THAT I DO A LOT OF ORGANIZATIONAL PLANNING in my consulting work, it's been far too long since I've sat myself down and drafted a personal plan for my career and life. I think the last time I did any real serious work on a personal plan was more than ten years ago. 'Yikes!' was my reaction when fellow consultant Linda Norris asked if I had one. Turns out neither did she. Nor several other colleagues she asked. Hmmm.....
It wasn't long after that conversation when Linda called again with an invitation to attend a personal planning retreat at her house. Starting tomorrow, five consultant colleagues are converging for 1.5 days of conversation, soul-searching, group problem-solving, and individual plan creation, and I, for one, am getting really excited about what I might contribute as well as bring home.
I think I've done a fair amount of preparation -- we kick the party off with a discussion about our past and current work and whether or not we see ourselves at a crossroad -- so I've spent some time thinking and writing about all of those things. Since I'll be summarizing these issues for the rest of the group, I've created a big mind-map that I'll tape up on a wall that will help explain where I think my consulting has been and is now.
The mind-map is a graphic representation of a short outline-cum-narrative I wrote first. (I'll share the narrative, too.) It's been a lot of fun (and work, too) developing the map, but it's really helped me to clarify my consulting past and present. And most importantly it's helping me to think about the future.
Once each of us has presented our past/present/crossroad overview, the power of group work will take over. Our plan is to use the group brain trust to help each one of us [re]focus and clarify our career aspirations for the 'next stage' of our lives (however each of us defines that stage).I'm so glad to have the chance to put into practice what I advise my organizational clients to do all the time. Our retreat starts tomorrow --- I'll let you know how I do.