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            [post_content] => With the surge of new computing capabilities afforded to us through cloud computing and data analytics there has been a significant increase in the ability to source, integrate, manage, and deliver data within organisations.

The emergence of a new breed of  technologies means that traditional restrictions on data processing have been overcome and the resulting boost to information capacity means that all organisations can become more agile, flexible, lean and efficient

The term Intelligent Enterprise is being used to describe those that seizing the opportunities presented.  

This has led to a demand for people that can make this “Intelligent Enterprise” a reality.

The bottom line is that without the right skills and capabilities, new technological innovations will not only be of no benefit to firms but may actually become a disadvantage to those that are unprepared to implement them.

Indeed, staffing and skills have been singled out by firms as the top barrier to Agile Data Analytics, with 61% of respondents citing them as a challenge in our recent report for the Cutter Consortium.

So what can organisations do to become Intelligent Enterprises and get the most from big data? We believe they need to develop three main skill bases:

1. Technology support

2. A deep analytical capability

3. A savvy understanding of what big data can deliver

Organisations will increasingly be employing not only Data Miners, Data Scientists, Data Architects, Database Administrators Business Developers and Business Analysts but those individuals that combine skills from those roles such as Project Managers, Data Visulalisers and Programmers Developers.

[caption id="" style="float:center" width="300"]Intelligent Enterprise Skills & Roles Mapping The Intelligent Enterprise - mapping skills and roles[/caption]

At the centre of the skills bases are the Chief Information Officers (CIO) and Chief Data Offers (CDO) that will drive the transformation.

With a skill set that covers all three categories, individuals are ideally placed to successfully lead their organisation into an era of extracting tangible value which is currently hidden in organisational data.  It is from this perspective that we have designed the IMI Diploma in Data Business, which provides knowledge and insight into each to three areas. 

To find out more about how you can develop these skills come to our Information Evening for our Diploma in Data Business and Diploma Cloud Strategy in the Marker Hotel, Dublin 2, at 6pm on Tuesday 10th September register here.

Tadhg Nagle is joint Programme Director of the UCC IMI Diploma in Data Business and a lecturer and researcher in Information Systems at University College Cork.  With a background in financial services his expertise is in strategic innovation and emerging and disruptive technologies.
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“There are two certainties in life, death and taxes” said Brad Pitt in the 1998 movie  “Meet Joe Black”. Actually I believe there is a third certainty, problems.

wrong solution car


Problems are part of the journey of life, we cannot move forward without dealing with some sort of problem from the most primordial of finding food and shelter, to the most trivial of choosing the right colour tie for your next meeting. The fact is that problems are very deceiving, in so many ways they are also similar to illnesses in that we despise them deeply. Like illnesses we become aware of them only when they hurt, by which time it is probably already too late to stop them doing some damage. Once we become aware of a problem and feel its pain we tend to treat the symptoms rather than truly tackling the causes. And again, like illnesses if we leave serious problems untreated and only tend to their symptoms they generally turn into even bigger problems and sometimes far to advance to be able to fix them.

Are you feeling the pain yet?

If you are, don’t panic just quite yet. Most problems can be resolved quite easily by simply understanding them and exploring them from different angles. We often believe there is only one right solution to a problem, in reality the solution to every problem doesn't depend on its symptoms but on its desired outcome. Exploring a problem from different angles allows us to gain clarity on what is going on and provide us with the opportunity to formulate a number of options and alternatives to focus on achieving what is truly important.

Do you feel as healthy as a fish?

If you don't then perhaps you should question why? Problems become serious only if we ignore smaller issues that don’t seem to mean much when they surface. Because they are so trivial and don’t seem to have an impact on the overall big picture such small issues tend to go unchecked until they become big enough. Then this requires all hands on deck to resolve and will distract everyone from performing the way they could. It is important to question the potential impact of small issues. What can happen if you don’t tackle them? What are they the symptoms of? What critical values are they eroding in your organisation?

Have you had these symptoms before?

If you have then it doesn't mean what is happening right now is the same as what you have experienced before. It might be the same problem but almost certainly the conditions in which its presenting itself are very different and the solution that worked before might not work this time. Experience forms connections in our brain between situations and actions. This is very useful when we operate under pressure but most often it causes us to make rushed decision and bad choices. It is always important to understand: What is different this time? How different are the causes from my previous experience? Which new conditions are causing the problem this time?

dr google


Googling won’t make it better, it will almost certainly make you feel worse!

Today it’s easy to “Google” any problem and find ready made solutions very quickly. The internet is indeed a powerful resource to find interesting answers and ideas but remember your problem has very unique characteristics and to be able to solve it effectively it is important to involve the people around you that are connected with it.

Most of the time fresh eyes help finding new and innovative solutions but before throwing all your energy on any external solution it is important to be candid and open up with what is really going on internally.

  Fabio Grassi is the Programme Director for Innovative Problem Solving, a two day programme which runs on the 26th & 27th of November 2015. Fabio is a specialist in the development of team performance, collaboration and motivation.  [post_title] => Are you treating the right problem? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => bugging-treating-right-problem [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-05-11 20:28:03 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-11 20:28:03 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 22115 [post_author] => 7 [post_date] => 2018-03-20 12:41:09 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-03-20 12:41:09 [post_content] => [post_title] => Creating Buy-in for Change [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => creating-buy-change [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-05-12 20:15:57 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-12 20:15:57 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4763 [post_author] => 7 [post_date] => 2013-05-14 14:29:25 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-05-14 14:29:25 [post_content] =>

Just over a week ago I was sitting in the panel of the IMI Diploma in Leadership audit presentations, as I heard each manger and executive reporting back on their leadership audit journey I found very interesting how many of them recognised empathy as a critical area for development.

In my job as facilitator, empathy is the most critical skill I rely on to guide groups through though organisational development processes. Yet for many managers and business leaders, empathy can make people uncomfortable or be seen a sign of weakness, so much so that it is often referred to as a "soft skill."

It is important to understand that empathy is at the core of healthy and sound interactions, it is what drives each one of us to recognise when someone is in difficulty and to provide them with help. In my experience, it is at the centre of collaborative work.

During my research on Emotional Intelligence and Management Practice I find that there is a direct correlation between the extent to which managers "care about what happens to others" and their ability to address poor performance effectively. I can safely say that while empathy is about interacting with people effectively it is also most certainly a hard skill: it is directly wired into our brain through the "Mirror neurons", it can be practiced and developed through very specific exercises, it triggers reciprocity.

So how can you develop empathy?

Pay attention - empathy starts by recognising the minute physiological changes in the person we are interacting with. Paul Ekman spent most of his career codifying the connection between facial expressions and emotions and developed an excellent set of training tools to quickly learn the skills to recognise such connections. NLP calibration exercises teach us how to recognise small changes in skin complexion and color, eye movement and pupil dilation as markers of change of a person base state to emotional state. Observing the people you live and work with is the first most important step to develop empathy.

Explore gently - Once you detect something out of the ordinary (even the most subtle changes are important) you have an opportunity to explore what is really going on by becoming interested in the person in front of you. The most effective way to do so is probably invite them to share their thinking, to do so effectively it will be important to develop the ability of matching your facial expressions to your intentions, showing interest, openness and suspending your own judgment while inspiring psychological safety. Again Paul Ekman's training tools and NLP calibration exercises can also help you rise such levels of self awareness. Finding the right questions to ask in the appropriate situation is also very important, Judy Barber's book "Good Question" has been a great insight for me and helped me choose the best questions for the most difficult of situations.

Adjust approach - At this point in time you should have enough information to understand with a degree of precision what emotions the person in front of you is experiencing. You can literally walk in their shoes, and by doing so you will clearly realise what is the best way to approach them, to effectively delegate important tasks, to give effective performance enhancing feedback, to effectively reinforce desirable behaviours and effectively address inappropriate behaviour. The possibilities are endless.  NLP is again a great help in developing and practicing this skill using a technique called "Perceptual Positioning". Yes, empathy is a "hard skill" to learn and apply but it is at the core of every human interaction. Empathy is necessary to build healthy and effective relationships with the people we work with, lead and manage, of course it is hard to develop and is not going to get any easier it is only going to get later...

Fabio Grassi is Executive Learning Director at IMI. He is a specialist in the development of team performance, collaboration and motivation.  His approach involves the facilitation of tailored workshops aimed at the achievement of specific business outcomes. He is passionate about the development of ethical leadership through executive coaching. e-mail Fabio Grassi or call on +353 87 9183282

[post_title] => Empathy, the 'hardest' management skill at work... [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => empathy-the-hardest-management-skill-at-work-6 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-05-11 21:44:58 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-11 21:44:58 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) )
Hugh Torpey

Hugh Torpey

9th Apr 2018

Hugh Torpey is the Content Manager at the IMI. 

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Jonas Ridderstråle – The Future Firm: Building an Evolutionary Mindset

Interview with Jonas Ridderstråle introducing the concepts behind the IMI Masterclass

  • The value of perception over reality
  • Macro trends and their business impacts
  • Is your company sexy enough to survive?

Perception over Reality

There are a group of highly educated engineers in BMW whose entire job is to make the sound your car door makes pleasing to the ear. That satisfying ‘schunk’ when it opens and closes is the result of countless hours of testing, prototyping, focus groups and discussion, and doesn’t make a single ounce of difference to the performance of the car.

It does, however, make a difference how a driver perceives the performance of the car, and this is a key to the performance of BMW. ‘If everyone was rational’ says Jonas Ridderstråle, author of Funky Business and IMI Masterclass speaker, ‘we would all drive Toyota’s.’

Why do car companies employ engineers purely to work on the sound the door makes? {Picture Source)

.The problem with even trying to be rational in today’s world is the absolute information overload everyone is bombarded with on a daily basis. Having moved from an ‘information desert to an information dump’ rational purchasing decisions are now almost impossible because there is simply too much, and contradictory, information informing that decision.

‘The reality is we’re not looking for value for money, we’re looking for values for money. Purchasing is an emotional decision’ continued Jonas. ‘What effect does this have on business? Well, it means that it’s not only about survival of the fittest (company), it is also about….


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Hugh Torpey is the Content Manager at the IMI. This article is based on a talk given at the IMI by Jonas Ridderstråle in both Cork and Dublin for IMI Members. For more on IMI Membership, go here