Welcome to Edgework Consultancy. Launching the Edgework website has been my own excursion to the ‘edge’. I’ve been forced to take stock of my life, where I’ve been, who I am and what I stand for. What you see on these pages represents the sum total of all of that.

It’s been an exhilarating and daunting process because it represents my own transformation from a full time employee in a large public service organization and a part time consultant, to a full time consultant. All sorts of worries and fears have come up during this transition.

The issue of visibility is one of them. I’ve turned myself inside out for you dear reader-exposed some of my passions, values, and credentials in a long lasting way. There are those who long for visibility. Some say visibility is now too accessible in this year of 2012. I suspect that many equate visibility with appreciation and respect. I am not one of them. Visibility for me has always been a risky business, with the potential to expose flaws, to being caught out in some way, to face criticism in a hyper-critical world. This led me to think about the prevalence of criticism, a way of thinking and being that seems to saturate all our lives.

What’s it all about? I suspect some of it may be about ‘showing off’- ‘see how smart I am’. Some of it is self protection, deflecting negativity from oneself to someone else. Some of it is about fear and disempowerment- ‘let someone else do it, while I sit back and poke holes in their efforts’. I suspect criticism and the fear of it has stood in the way of fulfilling potential for many of us. I’ve worked with MBA students across the world on the balance of criticism and appreciation. Invariably criticism leads to one of two reactions or both- withdrawal or aggression. Appreciation on the other hand leads to a soaring feeling, a singing of the heart, an openness and a moving forward in life. Of course, there is always a place for genuine critique that improves any condition including the human condition. But it’s time to consign the gratuitous criticism that dogs our daily lives, to the dustbin.

Today, I am writing to you from my cottage in the country, in the hills of deep Wales.As I look out the window at the dance of colours in the autumn leaves still falling in auburn and russet drifts I want to stop and savour this golden moment, to appreciate those leaves that protect and cover the ground for new growth that is yet to come. Appreciation and savouring are linked to gratitude. Robust research shows that experiencing and expressing gratitude are fundamental to well-being. The next time you catch yourself thinking an appreciative thought, stop for a moment. Take notice and savour.

Anita