Raygun Gothic Rocketship

Sometimes, even if things are going well and are enjoyable, it’s important to see if where your live is headed, and to change course to make sure to stay on track. For me, now is such a time. I’m leaving Third Wave.

I’ve been running Third Wave together with my friends Igor and Johannes for about two years now, and it couldn’t have been better. We started a kick-ass company out of nowhere, and got lots of good feedback for our work, and had a blast doing it. We ran a few events, and even grew to one employee and a couple of trainees. Personally, I learned lots and lots, and I met a whole bunch of wonderful, inspiring people.

And still, recently I started to realize there’s something else I needed to do, something that the framework of a consulting shop wouldn’t allow. I need to put to test what I’ve been preaching to clients for the last few years.

I haven’t quite decided on the details of my next steps, but I’m drawn to build something at scale, something that matters, with larger impact.

To be perfectly clear here: I don’t think that the work at Third Wave, or strategy consulting in general for that matter, isn’t important or doesn’t have an impact. It clearly does, and always will. Every strategy that helps a large organization get better at what they do has large-scale impact.

My decision to leave is a purely personal one, based on a professional change of direction after some five to seven years of full-time consulting work.

A big, big thank you to Igor and Johannes, to the team, to our clients and everybody who supported us along the way. There’s no way I’ll ever be able to express just how much all that meant for me. Thank you.

For a few weeks or months, I’ll afford myself the freedom to zoom out to bird-eye level, to lose focus, and to talk to a lot of people, bouncing ideas and thoughts. Only then, after some time to re-think how, where and in what context I should focus my energy, I’ll make a definite decision on what’s next. Until then, I’ll look closely at the mental equivalent of Venn diagrams – where my interests and skills intersect, where my desire to work towards scale and my background intersects, that kind of thing.

Also, as I wrote over at the Third Wave blog, I won’t get bored anytime soon. In fact, I have more than enough work cut out for the time being. Among other things, I’ll be service as Program Director for NEXT Berlin Conference 2013 as well as the upcoming spin-off, NEXT Service Design Conference; I’ll keep working on some things with Third Wave; I’m editor-at-large, Europe, for an upcoming magazine code-named Project377 (scheduled to launch next month). And there are a number of side projects that I’ve been having an itch to get started on.

So I’m writing this blog post with a laughing and a crying eye. On one hand, I get melancholic about the opportunities not seized with the great crew at Third Wave. On the other, I’m super excited and exhilarated about the next steps.

Can’t wait to get started.

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