There’s nothing like contemplating a Web Strategy Plan to get you thinking about your professional networks (or to be honest, almost anything other than your Web Strategy Plan). At a time when work remains fairly scarce and cuts in the public sector have led to a flood of people offering freelance services of varying quality, the temptation is to pull up the drawbridge and keep opportunities to yourself.
I’ve done several pieces of work at Globe looking at creative digital businesses, digital workspaces and more generally at the needs of SMEs, so when an opportunity was recently advertised to quote for local work on the Lincolnshire Digital Business Cluster we took a serious interest.
Globe’s existing staff and affiliates bring expertise in creative industries, digital workspace and event management along with research experience and local knowledge, but the team’s specific digital business sector experience still needed strengthening if we were to cover and exceed the full range of the prospective project. With a quotation deadline getting ever closer I had a very simple three point game plan:
find the right contact -> present the right proposal and people -> win the contract!
Our first wish was granted with the help of our regular collaborators, Culture Partners, who very generously shared a key contact – Stuart McFarlane who had recently left Yorkshire Forward as sector manager for digital and new media and was previously with both Sony and Panasonic. Stuart responded very positively to our approach and expressed an interest in working with Globe on the proposal.
Discussions took an unexpected twist when it turned out that Stuart and two colleagues had recently established the Creative Digital Industries Alliance (CDI Alliance). An hour into the first project planning meeting I suggested a role reversal placing Globe as the partner supporting CDI Alliance in applying to Lincolnshire its experience of successfully developing the Digital Business Cluster in Yorkshire.
While it can sometimes be instinct for a consultant to keep hold of the reins, changing our approach felt a much better way to help the client see the potential of our team. We were delighted when the client called yesterday to say that the CDI Alliance-Globe partnership had been appointed to deliver the contract.
We will be running around 20 events over the course of the project so I’ll make sure to post details of those, as well as what’s going on with the Lincolnshire Digital Business Cluster project as it progresses.
While creative thinking was a core part of the approach presented in our tender, creatively approaching our network of collaborators was the key to realising our proposal.
All of this leads me to the thought that, as it was the relationships Globe has worked hard to cultivate that allowed us to pull together such a strong team, perhaps our web strategy should move a little further up my to-do list.
PS .Globe’s introduction to CDI Alliance wouldn’t have come about without advice and recommendations from Culture Partners. It was great news therefore that they have also secured a new commission, advising the Prime Minister’s Office of Malta on grant assessments for Creative Industries. When they return, I hope to be able to entice them to write a guest post on the subject.