Mohamed Bray talks business analyst ambition with Joe Newbert, the ambition to lead, deliver business value and take their rightful place in organisations.
Mohamed Bray is a corporate jungle survivor, turned international speaker and entrepreneur, who has been a business and technology consultant for the past 14 years with a passionate focus on business analysis.
Mohamed is a Non-Executive director of the IIBA-SA Chapter, and evangelist for the continuous improvement and development of the business analysis profession in South Africa and internationally. Today, he is a business owner in the fuels and retail sector while still being devoted to the business analysis community.
Congratulations on your recent keynote at the Business Analysis Summit Southern Africa, it was well received by many. For those who weren’t fortunate to attend, could you give us a synopsis of what the talk was about?
Have you thought about how you make the business analysis profession look to the outside world? This is a question I often ask as a mentor, coach and leader of business analysts. I know the value of this profession. I know because I have personally used the toolset and competencies of business analysis to help deliver value to my clients. Why can’t the rest of the world see this? We, as a profession, have simply not been ambitious enough! We have not done ourselves, our roles and our profession any favours by being general, tactical, linear and, at best, outputs based. I decided to use the keynote to motivate and generate some excitement in the business analysis profession by sharing insights and the value of being ambitious about what you do, especially if you are a business analyst.
The topic is clearly an area that you are personally passionate about. Why do you feel this subject is relevant and important for the business analysis profession?
For far too long the BA profession has been seen as tactical and BA’s have been placed in tiny boxes, never to see the light of day. The role has become devoid of creativity and flair because it is simply not in the job spec.
Business analysts need to ask themselves – did they choose business analysis or did business analysis choose them?
If it’s the latter, then we have a problem. Currently, global studies show that only 13% of the of the workforce is engaged! That is such a sad state of affairs. Something has to change!
Having shared your ideas with the business analysis community. What key points would you like people to take-away, reflect and act upon?
You have a choice! You can choose to be a business analyst, but, if you do, do it because you care and want to make a difference. Choose the career and profession. Be an engaged business analyst that wants to deliver business value. Choose to have ambition and not a job. Jobs are rules for how to climb into the box. Ambition has no box and it will allow you to choose how, when, where, when, and why you do what you do. Choose ambition.
Business analysis summit spoiled in terms of the learning and networking opportunities. What was your greatest personal insight taken from the business analysis conference?
People are looking for leadership and leaders to pave the way for a better and brighter profession. They are hungry to connect, collaborate and co-create for a better business analysis profession.
There are many business analyst community initiatives one can get involved with. What words of encouragement do you have for people to get involved with building the business analysis profession?
The most valuable commodity of the twenty first century is your network. Your network is the fuel for your ambition and passion. It is pivotal for people to realise just what can be done when we come together and solve real world problems for our corporates, clients and communities.
Mohamed Bray spoke as keynote presenter at Business Analysis Summit SA 2016. You too can choose your business analyst ambition with @Mo_Bray and @Newbert on Twitter.