I attended the Institute of Business Analysis and Consulting (IBAC) Annual Conference yesterday held in the Davenport Hotel. The title of the Conference was From Business Support to Business Influencer - The Evolving Role of the Business Analyst. There were about 60 people present - I'd say about 12 were graduates of NCI's Diploma in Business Analysis and Consultancy course that I teach on. The course was also mentioned by one of the speakers.
The first presentation was by Sue Stockdale who is a motivational speaker, executive coach, and people development consultant. She spoke on Thriving in the Extreme World of Business. She once skied across Greenland and used her story of the expedition to compare her adventures with business issues. She was excellent! I also got to sit beside her at lunch and we had a great chat - I told her about putting lectures on iPods/iPhones and she was fascinated. I promised to send her details about how to do this.
Next up was a presentation from Alan McGilton who spoke on How to Change your Approach to the Market and Stay Ahead of the Competition – The Case of Ignition at Hibernian. This was a very interesting presentation and focused very much on a Business Analyst as an agent for change. The following speaker was Kathy O’Reilly of UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. Her topic was Business Analysis in Ireland: Evolving Roles, Changing Landscapes which was about research conducted on the role of the BA by two of her students. I was also sitting beside Kathy at lunch and we had a great chat comparing our courses (it was she who mentioned NCI in her presentation). The final speaker in the morning session was Michael Cullen, CEO of Beacon Medical Group. His topic was Stakeholder Management in the Healthcare Sector - a bit long, but an interesting account of how the Beacon hosiptal was set up. He also had a go at Joe Higgins of the Socialist Worker's party.
After lunch, there was a choice of three breakout workshops - I picked Applying Six Sigma Principles to Customer Experience Management – How to Develop Profitable Relationships with Internal and External Customers by Jeremy Heaven of Distinct Business Consulting. This wasn't particularly good and I wished I had gone to the one on virtual teams instead. The final speaker was Adrian Beggan of Google who spoke on Forget Tomorrow! What about the Next 5 – 10 years? Seizing the Opportunity to Shape the Trajectory of the ‘Business Analyst’. He was very good, though overdid the innovation bit and kept repeating himself. The learning from his session was to always be creative and innovative, and he described how Google cultures this within their organization.
I was surprised that I knew so many people at the Conference and met quite a few new people too. I discovered that I was mentioned as a possible speaker for this Conference - who knows, I might be asked for the next one!