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Cultivating Insight and Innovation… One Adventure at a Time

I have a seemingly immodest confession: I was not surprised to win the Communispace Values Award for Adventure last winter. After all, how many people can say they started the previous year literally walking out of their burning home in Boston with just the clothes on their back and their beloved chocolate lab in tow, and ended it 3,000 miles away, living and working in London? From Day 1 to Day 365, it was a year of extreme risk (uprooting a US life and journeying to a new and unknown land) and extreme reward (the immense gratification of helping open a UK office for a globally expanding Communispace)—one which is likely (and in certain ways hopefully) not to be repeated. Indeed, my 2008 was replete with what I would term obvious adventure, the sort that has the subtlety of a sledgehammer… or a reality TV contestant. (Yes, if my 2008 were a person, it’d probably be “The Situation.”)

Yet to say I was unsurprised is not to imply that I was not flattered or humbled. If there is one thing Communispace understands at a very visceral level, it’s adventure. I watch with awe everyday as my colleagues take risks, innovate at the speed of light, and push themselves, each other, and our clients to be better, smarter, more connected, more involved. Every day, with passion, dedication, and humor, my colleagues find new ways to unearth game-changing insights for our clients, new ways to move the marketplace to unprecedented heights, and new ways to make the company itself one everyone is proud to be a part of (and you will not meet a prouder bunch!).

But this is not flashy adventure; it is not self-congratulatory; it is not immodest; it is not so glaringly obvious as a burning building or a new London office space. No, adventure at Communispace is so subtle and subterranean at times, so constant and steady, I would liken it to a hot spring, a continuous stream of energy that infuses and seeps warmly into everything Communispace does. Yes, there are occasional geysers: opening up Asia Pacific offices, launching new versions of our community software, being named by Forrester as the Full-Service Market Research Online Community Leader or winning two Forrester Groundswell Awards (that last is not an intentional pun, I swear!). But most of the time, adventure bubbles right beneath the surface in everything my colleagues do: crafting client research agendas, projecting the voice of the customer into a room of executives, writing a whitepaper on what it means to listen, building sophisticated technology infrastructure, participating enthusiastically in company golf outings and The Communispace Follies, and planning for all that 2010 and beyond will bring.

And so, as we usher in a new year, born aloft by these continuous bubbles of adventure, I look forward to passing my fiery torch to one of my amazingly deserved colleagues…to a geyser of applause.

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