My goal in life is to meet everyone in the world. I know that goal is not SMART (specific, realistic, etc.). It is not reaching the goal that is important; it is the effort I go through to try and meet the goal that counts. The goal goes deeper than just “meeting” people. I try to meet everyone I can and establish a relationship. Building strong relationships is a constant, consistent goal of mine. Some grow deeper than others, but I don’t discriminate. I meet and engage with people sometimes without knowing how I will add value to that person or how they will add value to me. For some this is a hard concept to grasp. Some feel so busy and can’t fathom spending time getting to know someone new without knowing why you should get to know them. We work in a highly collaborative work environment. You don’t have to do everything on your own. If you build strong relationship people are more willing to help you. So if you are too busy to build relationships it is because you are not building relationships.
If you still need some convincing regarding building relationships, here is one big reason you should bother. Build relationships to ensure your message is delivered. This thought popped into my head after seeing an interview with Bono, lead singer of U2. He is a huge advocate to reduce or eliminate the AIDS virus. He has helped raise money and awareness that is dramatically helping the cause. But Bono is not a doctor. He does not work for the Center of Disease Control. He is not trained to do the research, administer tests or provide medicine to patients. What he does do is use his influence to help raise money to support the cause. He uses his influence to convince lawmakers they should allocate funds and resources to support the cause. He delivers the message.
I speak with many BA professionals that get frustrated when they can’t convince their management that they need more focus on the BA practice. I speak with many BA professionals that realize projects are not going well, but are not sure how to get their message to the right person. Sometimes you don’t have the influence necessary to get your message across. Does that mean you should stop? Of course not. You need to detach the message from the delivery of the message. The point is not who delivers the message; the point is that the message gets delivered.
Most likely Bono won’t be stopping by your office anytime soon trying to convince your management that they need to fund your effort to start a Business Analysis Community of Practice. Go out and meet some new people in your company at all levels. Who knows, maybe they’ll be delivering a message for you.
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