Possibilities are the alignment of chance and the ability to take advantage of what that chance offers, bridging the gap between opportunity and engagement.
Part of our daily business is to look for these opportunities, often scheduled out in OJEU notices but sometimes hidden away in corners, happened upon through chance encounters and scrutinised so that we can find where the possibilities lie. It can be a time-consuming, arduous task, but when we find an alignment between our particular ethos and skill-set and the opportunity presented by a potential client, the return can be substantial and remarkable, whether or not that opportunity becomes a possibility and, ultimately, an engagement.
The exploration of a given set of problems when the client mindset is unclear, encourages the exploration of new avenues and different angles than we are used to, liberated from any sense of expectation. Our approach evolves as a result, surprising (hopefully) potential clients and often ourselves in the process. There is an unpredictability there and in that a certain discomfort, but the greatest possibilities don’t give themselves up easily.
Seeds are sown and ideas are planted. Sometimes a relatively insignificant commission can lead to the most rewarding process and relationships that endure and grow, cultivating an outlook that understands the value of what our profession can bring to a project. At the other end of the scale are outlandish, ambitious plans that go against the grain of ‘best practice’. The future we now know is not one of personal jet-packs and hover-boards, but it was shaped by those who dared to dream of such things, advancing our understanding of what might be achievable.
Our pursuit of new possibilities has taken us to some curious places, meeting some truly interesting people that, regardless of whether or not our professional hopes are realised, have irreversibly shaped our outlook, almost always for the better. Arts, industry, aeronautics and engineering; each of them with their own peculiarities and minutiae of which we might never have been aware, were it not for this intrepid march into the unknown.
As with any great expedition, reaching the furthest outpost is only half the journey. It is then that the real work begins. When we have given everything to show what we are capable of – what our clients expect – we must then follow through on that promise. And isn’t that the most exciting part of all; the manifestation of a client’s hopes and aspirations?
If the limits of our language mean the limits of our world, perhaps our thoughts and ideas mark the limits of what we can achieve within it. If we can think beyond accepted wisdom then our future – the future of our profession – is not only bright, but immeasurably vast.