As of this writing, it is the middle of 2014. Information technology is exceedingly more and more sophisticated, business is conducted with highly complex and macrotized operating models, information is stored in petabytes, and becoming “lean” and more “agile” is not just a desired operating mode or mantra but it is de rigueur for most companies; especially when these entities engage in mergers and acquisitions in order to maintain or amplify a competitive edge. The back office backdrop is no less significant. The drive for performance and operational output in the analysis, development and marketing of new products and services require increasingly more dependencies on the commoditization of information, domain knowledge, operational subject matter expertise and engagement of consultancy services.

The business of Business Analysis training and certification programs has taken notice of this and is responding to the above influences and pressures as well. Reliance on these consortiums is at an all-time high. The ubiquitous International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) remains outstanding with its business analysis certification program and now the Project Management Institute (PMI); an organization more known for its project, program and portfolio management standards, is offering a Business Analysis certification program of their own. Other organizations with an educational template are also experiencing a surge in business with requests for training services for the business analyst neophyte as well as the continuing education choice of the seasoned analyst practice professional.

jenkins Aug29Do you know the fool-proof way to know if someone desires a connection with others? They are breathing. For those playing at home…that’s everyone among the living.

Even the most introverted introverts still have a deep desire to share and connect. Humans crave connection. The explosive growth and adoption of social media is proof. We are all communicating but are we connecting? Why is it that in our always-on and always-connected culture we struggle to truly connect with people?

Perhaps we need a refresher on the truths of effective connection. These truths are timeless but their application has changed due to the three communication disruptions: technology, social media, and the emerging generations.

Truth #1: Connecting requires selflessness.

But first…DO NOT take a selfie. First, focus on others. The moment you become more concerned with your own agenda during communication is when you’ve lost the connection with your audience. Turn “selfies” into “youies.”

Application: Eliminate the words “I,” “me,” and “my” from your social media communications. Post encouraging words on a friends Facebook wall or Instagram snap. Ask a thought provoking question of your Twitter followers and then genuine listen and engage. Share a value-add piece of content with a LinkedIn connection.

Monday, 01 September 2014 00:00

Know Who to Ask the Right Questions

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Smartphones have made so many things easier in life. I don't think I want to or can live without one. Besides all the benefits related to work, I am not sure I could go very long with a quick round on Candy Crush. At the same time we are letting smartphones stop us from doing the one thing that good analysis requires: connecting with others. What made me think of this was a trip on a shuttle from the airport to a conference. I was really excited because I knew we had at least a 30-minute ride. I entered the van with seven new people to meet and ready to start to get to know my fellow riders. Unfortunately, everyone but me had their head in their phone checking email, surfing the Internet or playing Candy Crush. Many of the riders were going to the same conference so it was a place I could start building relationships so we could stay in touch, share ideas and experiences — seven more people I could add to my list of meeting everyone in the world. Not so much.