Dr. Katherine Loflin is the Principal of Loflin Consulting Solutions. Through her global reputation, Dr. Loflin is also known as the “City Doctor” and is an in-demand, award-winning place consultant advising cities around the world. Her first, much anticipated book is called, “Place Match: The City Doctor’s Guide to Finding Where You Belong.” Since starting her consultancy in 2007, Dr. Loflin has held leadership and advisory roles in some of the most groundbreaking and innovative place-focused projects including Knight Soul of the Community, Our Miami, Calgary’s Inspiring Strong Neighborhoods and the Place Capital Inventory in Australia. In October 2014, she was awarded the international Place Marketing Award, named the Guest of Honor and taught the Master Class at the Place Marketing Forum in Aix-en-Provence, France. Dr. Loflin is a two-time TEDx speaker on place. She is an invited member of the global Placemaking Leadership Council and keynoted its inaugural event in 2013 and subsequent events in Stockholm, Sweden, and Adelaide, Australia.
How did you get into the industry?
I was the lead consultant on a groundbreaking research project that globally changed the way people understand their world.
Any emerging industry trends?
The concepts of place science continue to reach new systems and industry. It started with municipal leaders, then to business leaders and university leaders, and now most recently into tourism, realtors, and even the performing arts/entertainment.
Any industry opportunities or challenges?
It has always been challenging to have place science viewed as legitimate, actionable and consequential. It can be squishy. So constantly establishing definitions, parameters and best practices through empiricism, intervention and examples is key.
Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?
In the first iteration, the inspiration was a groundbreaking research finding.
In the next iteration, it was my own divorce. It inspired me to relate the journey of finding the right place to finding the right partner.
What's next for the Business in the near future?
Continuing the adoption of the idea and framework into new industries, including currently tourism, realtors and performing arts/entertainment.
Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?
I hold a unique position and skillset in being able to effectively communicate this framework to increasing audiences and help them envision the potential and impact of it in the things they care about. So I plan to keep spreading the word and being a guide to its further adoption and replication.
Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)
Living on soft money is difficult sometimes. The challenge of that part of the journey has enabled me to more forward thinking, fiscally responsible, and becoming an expert in many aspects of my practice to retain assets for the business, as opposed to hiring out. But it is a constant challenge not always being able to predict asset flow.
Ideal experience for a customer/client?
I think my ideal experience happens at two moments: (1) when the clients first hear the message through my talk—seeing audience reaction and “aha moments” are a delightful gift and (2) hearing later from audience members how my message changed their life and continues to influence their choices even years later, means my work had lasting impact.
How do you motivate others?
By making them feel competent and the best experts in what they are to do. Also by setting them up for success in how I structure the work ahead and ascertaining and mitigating risks while making room for useable failure.
Career advice to those in your industry?
We are still building the plane as we are flying it in my field. And I hold a unique position in it. I love young people who see me are inspired to do something similar with their lives and seek advice from me on how to do it. Fact is there is no one path. I am a marriage and family therapist trained social worker now doing place science! I can share my journey but yours will be undoubtedly different. So don’t be afraid to forage your own path too. Today more than ever there are really no unbreakable rules to getting where you want to go, especially in my field. Exciting times.