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Evolving Into a Business Leader: How to Earn a Seat at the Strategic Table

October 26, 2016

Today’s innovation in business is highly peppered with technology, and it’s clear that emerging technology adoption is the way forward for businesses. That means that it’s time to reassess what our business partners want—not just for incremental change as in the past, but to bring about that significant change that we are experiencing all across. IT has a big challenge to fulfil in this time of change. But how?

 

"Focus on Understanding Your Business Partner in This Changed Environment"

 

What do they really value and what are they receiving? What are they unhappy about—are they aware of what “better” could look like for them? These are the questions BRMs should be asking of their business partners to help them express their views, in order to elicit as much information as possible.

 

In this digital world, your business partners are exposed to new ways of doing things in almost every aspect of their life. It is the BRM’s responsibility to help them go beyond the current ways of doing things and encourage them to imagine how things should be instead. Here, business and IT can capture this aspirational and futuristic view collectively alongside their business partners, allowing BRMs to not only map out a plan that meets their partners’ needs, but to move towards becoming a strategic partner.

 

"It is the BRM’s responsibility to help [your business partners] go beyond the current ways of doing things and encourage them to imagine how things should be instead."

 

"The Picture of the Future Cannot Be Painted Solely Based on Your Business Partner’s Desires"

 

What the future could theoretically look like may be different from what your business partners have painted, and it is the BRM’s responsibility to see this potential. Business and IT need to thoroughly understand what the business partner appreciates and why, because questioning what else the business partner really values can lead to BRMs working with other business functions to create an all-encompassing solution.

When BRMs get involved in painting the picture of the future, this new picture not only includes all that your business partners have expressed, but many newer solutions that business and IT are now able to offer due to the power of technology. By developing confidence in your understanding of what is good for your business partner, you can bring innovation to the workplace by giving not only what is asked, but producing something that takes things to the next level.

 

"By developing confidence in your understanding of what is good for your business partner, you can bring innovation to the workplace by…producing something that takes things to the next level."

 

To build this foresight and confidence, BRMs must put in the work to look at the situation as a whole rather than in silos—in short, developing a culture that invites the sharing of ideas. The big picture should include all the facts, including the current ways of doing things, assumptions, ideas, possibilities, risks, dependencies, explicit and implicit requirements from your business partners, and all the why’s behind the what’s.

 

Creating a successful and innovative solution is not based on an individual’s capability, but rather through a collaborative team effort to develop that collective wisdom.By challenging the status quo and hacking ruthlessly to give it a fresh look, BRMs can bring new solutions to their business partners that encompass both what they need and what they don’t know they need—yet.

 

In order to earn a seat at the strategic table, BRMs must be ready to meet the current challenges the business is facing in the wake of digital disruption.

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