A significant part of my Masters project is to adopt an intelligent, mindful, distant view of myself as a practitioner and a commentator. To help me with this I have made my world tangible by simply dividing it into parts that resemble boulders and pebbles. This method of visualising my landscape was inspired by an metaphor described by Charles Leadbeater in his paper "Coming Crisis of the Creative Class".
This model is composed of boulders, pebbles and micro pebbles. These individually weighted and labeled parts have enabled me to ask meta level questions about the value that I add through my work and to view my everyday work holistically and see where the gaps are.
When I look at this landscape I am asking these questions:
- Who visits my beach?
- What boulders work with pebbles?
- What pebbles are growing to become boulders?
- How do the boulders make money?
- Are there any pebbles growing taller than the boulders?
- Who should I invite to visit?
- How is it being sustained?
- What can I see in the distance?
- How do I find the pebble I am looking for?
- How do visitors navigate their way around?
- Are there any dangers on the beach?
- Do I like working on the beach?
- What is missing?
- What is driving me to maintain and enhance this beach?
- What will the beach look like in five years time?
It has made me realise I need to be more conscious of how often I roll a new boulder onto the beach. This takes time, dedication and focus. I am only one person and I can only sustain a certain amount.
There is rising tide of pebbles on my beach. Every minute millions of people throw a pebble onto my beach: a blog post, a YouTube video, a picture of Flickr or an update of Twitter. A puzzling collection of pebbles in different sizes, shapes and colours , in no particular order, as people feel like it. How is this managed?
This very simplified version of my world into boulders and pebbles has focused my thinking on hybrids and collaborations. I hadn't realised until now the vast amount of opportunities I have to create new collaborations and organise my pebbles to new heights.
But what does it mean when pebbles grow taller then the boulders? My network is rapidly become the tallest attraction on the beach. The nature of social networking allows me to connect with pebbles who are friends, and twitter allows me to create lots of really tiny little pebbles.
I am really keen to hear your thoughts and opinions on this model. It is up to you if you throw a pebble towards me in the form of a comment or a little micro pebble reflection in the form of tweet.