The Best Thing About COVID


The best thing about COVID. I know you are like what? I had retired early in 2020, and when the pandemic happened, I didn’t have a new set routine. I had just formed my own business to pursue my passions in business analysis. My website can be reached at Optimistic BA.

I worked from home except for when I would be speaking at conferences. Well, all of my spring conferences got canceled. No one was prepared to go virtual at that time. But now the entire world is virtual, and that is the pipeline to the best thing about COVID.

In my volunteer involvement for IIBA, I am the Global Chapter Council Chair. I don’t always have much personal interaction with the chapter leaders and members outside of North America. Once all the chapters were doing virtual events, many of us traveled the world from our home offices. One weekend included stops at the Brussels BA Café on Friday morning. Friday night took us to Hawaii for Happy Hour. Sunday afternoon was a webinar in Egypt. Too bad, I can’t accumulate frequent flyer miles!

I have attended many different chapter events and some conferences or professional development days. This has allowed me to meet and get to know many various chapter leaders and IIBA members. The one event that stands out in my mind is the Friday BA Café hosted by the Brussels IIBA Chapter. It is held as a lunchtime event for them, but for me, it is 5:30 am. I would not miss my weekly Friday breakfast with Brussels. I have gotten to know many new people who I now consider colleagues. We don’t always discuss business analysis topics, but we still have fun. I now know which Disney Princess I am and many other trivial bits of information.

Each week we set a topic, and then most weeks, we quickly get off topic within the early minutes. I have quickly become one of the core group of “regulars” at the event. For all of the silly issues, we have managed to discuss actual business analysis information. I have learned quite a bit from my new group of pals. We have all been involved in IIBA about the same amount of time but existed in parallel universes. Brussels BA Café has to be the best thing about COVID for me.

A close second for me about the best thing for COVID would be the Collab calls IIBA’s Chapters Team hosts. There is a morning call and an evening call, which happens every other week. Chapter Leaders from all around the globe attend the call best for their time zone. This is a voluntary call without any plan and is open to whatever the chapter leaders want to discuss. It started as a call to see how everyone was coping but has evolved from there. Jared Gorai, Danelkis Serra, & myself try to be on all the calls, and at times we can help them resolve an issue. We let the chapter leader guide and select the subjects.

Once again, it is cool to see someone from Kansas City discussing an issue with someone from Australia. This call has opened up collaboration and a new world of friendships for chapter leaders globally. I have also gotten to know other global chapter leaders that don’t attend the Brussels BA Café. My lesson from all of this is about people. As a leader, I put people first and lead with my heart. It isn’t surprising that the best things about COVID centers around people. I am a positive person and always optimistic, so I haven’t had down moments during this pandemic. I can stay home for long periods, and I have entertained people on Social Media. That is why I can talk about the best thing that happened during COVID. Agree or disagree? I’d love to hear from you.

Judy Alter CEO/Owner

Judy Alter Speaker & Business Analysis Services LLC

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