Interview: Liz Calder on Cognitive Biases and Business Analysis

Liz CalderIn today’s blog post, we break from our usual format to bring you an interview with Dr Liz Calder of Blue Raccoon . I saw Liz’s presentation discussing cognitive biases at the BA Conference Europe 2017, and was keen to find out more (particularly as Liz had developed an entire course on the subject)! Liz has such a wide range of experience, in organisations large and small, and she brings insights from psychology and behavioural economics into her work.

I recently caught up with Liz for a ‘virtual’ chat, and she shared some really interesting insight:


1. You’ve spoken at a number of conferences about cognitive biases.  What exactly is a cognitive bias?

A Cognitive Bias is an intrinsic error in the way people think. Every day we make hundreds of decisions, some big and some small. There isn’t enough time in the day to weigh up all the facts for every decision we make so the brain uses mental shortcuts for speed. These shortcuts are a mixture of inherent behaviour and previous experience and, in order to be quick, the brain simplifies issues and throws out a lot of the information available to it. Because of this simplification the outcome is not always the one you get if you take the time to logically analyse a situation. Because they happen so quickly we aren’t even aware these shortcuts are happening; we just decide on something and move on.

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The Countdown: Three weeks until #BA2018

Adrian speakingTime really does fly! I can’t quite believe it’s just three weeks until the start of the Business Analysis Conference Europe 2018 (#BA2018) in London. As I plan the final practice runs of my workshop (Pre-Project Problem Analysis: Techniques for Early BA Engagement) and presentation (And Then The Magic Happens: What BAs can Learn from the World of Magic), I can’t help but get a little excited about the event – it’s always a real highlight of the BA calendar.  Every year the conference attracts such a wide variety of delegates and speakers, it’s such a great place to meet people and hear new ideas.

The conference gets bigger every year and, I’m pleased to say that there are still tickets available — so if you’ve been thinking about attending, it’s not too late! You can find out more details about the conference by clicking the link below. And remember, IIBA UK members are entitled to a 15% discount.

https://irmuk.co.uk/events/business-analysis-conference-europe/

I highly recommend attending the conference, if you can. There are fantastic presentations from real-world practitioners, and there’s also the opportunity to relax and chat over a beer (or two) after the conference has closed.   If you haven’t been before, I’d highly recommend taking a look.

If you’re attending, drop me an e-mail or tweet and we can catch up.

See you there?

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Adrian


PS — if you can’t make it to London, I’m equally excited to say that I’ll also be presenting at the BA Summit Southern Africa, in Johannesburg in October and also the Building Business Capability conference in San Antonio, Texas, USA in November.  My sessions are entitled “Leading from the Middle: Influencing & Delivery in Tricky Projects” and “Problem Analysis for Innovation: Your Practical Toolbox!”.  Then, in May 2019, I’ll be speaking at European BA Day.

All of these conferences provide an excellent opportunity to network and meet other BAs.

I hope to catch you at one of these conferences!