Why join UrbanEmerge?

By Naji P. Makarem, Founder

Before I begin, let me just say: This post is speaking to experienced and highly-reputable independent consultants leading projects in the field of international and regional development. I want to share with you our vision of UrbanEmerge.

My next post will speak to consultants at all levels of experience, to invite you to open a profile page on our internal enabling platform (coming soon). So don’t miss out on our News & Opportunities! Sign-Up to our free Newsletter. In the meantime…

Dear independent Lead Consultant,

As you know, in the development consulting field today, two worlds come together to deliver most projects:

The core team of the consulting firm that is accountable to the client, and a disconnected hub-and-spoke network of independent consultants, many of whom are affiliated to academic institutions.

Independent consultants have the opportunity of re-engineering the hub-and-spoke network into an inter-connected learning community.

That I believe from personal experience.

By collaborating with other independent consultants I have been able to manage larger projects and deliver higher quality work to our clients.

I have seen first hand how synergies emerge through collaboration. Many of you no doubt resonate with that.

As a collaborative team we have better chances of finding work - with each of us on the lookout for opportunities for one another - and together we are able to bid more often on larger and more challenging projects.

This should come as no surprise to people working a full-time job in a traditional consultancy, where all projects are won and delivered through team work.

But collaboration alone is not enough.

Employed consultants also enjoy the kudos of their shared brand name, and the scale of their organization, which offers them a big boost when bidding on projects.

Without our own branded organization, the brand and scale we generate as independent consultants goes almost entirely to the consultancy managing the project.

So why work independently?

As independent consultants we enjoy our freedom from corporate constraints and usually earn much more per day than our counter-parts in full-time jobs.

The challenges are to regularly win projects, to meet bidding requirements of larger projects without the backing of an organization, and to find the time to bid on the next project.

How can independent consultants maintain independence and freedom from corporate constraints and develop a shared brand while increasing the flow and size of projects we work on?

How can we gain not just personal equity (reputation/contacts) but also:

  • brand equity (the value of a reputable brand), and
  • organisational capacity (financial standing, registration/licenses, economies of scale and other bidding and proposal requirements)?

These are the questions that led us to co-develop UrbanEmerge:

UrbanEmerge is a self-managed development consultancy designed to offer independent consultants the opportunities enjoyed by full-time consultants (access to more and larger projects), while maintaining our freedom and independence (from corporate hierarchy and control).

This I believe we can achieve by:

  • Leveraging new technologies for sharing, matching and collaborating, and
  • by replacing a management hierarchy with distributed leadership.

By collaborating on an enabling platform, UrbanEmerge offers independent consultants the opportunity to strategically team up with other independent consultants and partner organizations (such as boutique consulting practices), and co-bid on projects.

Together we can manage larger and more challenging projects for a range of clients including traditional consultancies, multi-lateral organizations, government organizations, private-sector companies, business & civic associations and non-profit organizations.

Collaboration ensures opportunities and ideas are widely shared, fluid teams are strategically formed on a project-by-project basis, consultants focus on their core competencies across several projects, and together we form a learning community with a shared purpose of making the world a better place.

But how do we maintain our quality standards as we grow?

To maintain quality control our network is highly-selective. Quality is assured through rigorous selection of reputable and experienced lead consultants.

So what do we look like to the outside world?

To our clients we aspire to become known as an open-minded self-managed development consultancy that offers evidence-based, theoretically-sound and creative research and insights relating to socio-economic development, good governance, disaster resilience and technology-driven, low-carbon solutions for co-creating our emerging future.

Internally we operate as a fluid self-managed collaborative network, which promises to make us more agile, entrepreneurial and innovative, through a process of emergence rather than control.

Are you an experienced independent Lead consultant with a great reputation and track record? We would love to meet you!

We are offering Lead consultants who join us at this early start-up phase a fair-share of ownership as founding partners.

Ownership of UrbanEmerge LLP is distributed fairly using Slicing-Pie.

I invite you to visit our website at www.urbanemerge.com, join our email list and contact us to explore opprtunities for collaboration.

Together we can have more fun, be creative and achieve our purpose.

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