Mindsets – a Tipping Point for BA’s
Mindsets are so fundamental. They make a difference in how we work, how we’re perceived and how we contribute. They are a driving force that differentiates a BA that is in high demand from a BA that just gets the job done.
A Solution Focused Mindset is the first one I’d like to talk about. It is so valuable, so relevant. It changes basically everything. At least it did for me.
Having a solution focused mindset looks at every problem as a possibility, an opportunity. It creates positive energy within us that impacts the people around us. It challenges us to reach higher, dig deeper and it brings an element of fun creativity and innovation to everything we do.
I was lucky enough some years back to have a great boss that helped me to learn about and put into practice a solution focused mindset. I was leading a strong team of BA’s. We supported all the operational applications including policy, quoting, rating, customer service, BPM and the associated customer facing websites. We also “contracted” to the engineering and marketing departments of our organization. Our team’s work included new initiatives, ongoing maintenance and second level customer support.
One day in our monthly virtual staff meeting, my boss talked about a Solution Focused Mindset. He wrote two mantras on the WebEx whiteboard:
For every problem, there is a solution.
Do the best that you can, with the resources you have, in the situation you’re in.
He paused, giving us time to read and digest. Then he said, “Starting today, when you have a problem to bring to me, I will expect you to have at least one idea for a solution, other than more resources.” He continued “I don’t care if it’s not a great solution. What I care about is that you start looking at possibilities and opportunities. That you get creative.” He paused again and said, “If you come to me with a problem and don’t have an idea for a solution, I’m going to ask you to leave and come back when you have an idea.”
He didn’t care if it was a bad idea. He was a risk taker and an awesome sounding board to bounce ideas off of. He allowed and even encouraged risk of failure for learning and improving. He stuck to his guns and it changed our whole approach organizationally. It was challenging for me personally because he was my favorite person to brainstorm solutions with, but it helped me to grow.
I shared the same challenge with my team and have shared it with other teams that I’ve led since that day. I still think of those two mantras frequently in both my professional and personal life. A solution focused mindset has become a way of being for me. For my BA teams, at times it has led to total disruption in our typical approaches. It enabled changes to how we handled support, how we documented requirements, how we were viewed as a BA organization.
I’d like to challenge you, if you’re not already doing it to try out a solution focused mindset with those two mantras and share your outcomes. If you’re already in a solution focused mindset, how has it made a difference in your BA work? Connect with us here if you have a story that you’d like to tell.