My name is Mike Willett and I am writing to you from Australia. Firstly, my thanks to Eric and the talkRA team for providing the opportunity for me to write a blog. Reading the current posts, I can only hope to provide as much intellectual insight and thought to you as the current crop of bloggers have provided to me.
In RA today, there is much discussion about the techniques for finding revenue leakage – the tools to use, where to look, how to use them. But what I started thinking about tonight is what are the attributes that differentiate high performing RA teams or individuals.
The answer will draw heavily on how you approach your RA work. I have a heavy bias towards a data analysis orientated approach (in comparison to a process improvement approach) so let me call that bias out. Let me also point out though that a team biased solely on data analytics expertise is not likely to succeed without other supporting areas. I want, however, to focus not on the skills and experience but on the innate talents or the things you can’t teach.
For me, then there are a few essential attributes.
Resilience – I find this is key throughout the entire process from trying to acquire the necessary data and business rules to do the work, working through the analysis itself, understanding what is real leakage and what is noise and then advocating for any leakages to be appropriately addressed.
Integity – data may not lie but if the RA team starts to make assumptions that it shouldn’t, doesn’t question its approach, doesn’t question the data it is getting then it can very easily start presenting false positive results. When RA speaks, you want people to listen, not switch off.
Flexibility – time and again what you set out to do and how you want to do it can easily be deemed impractical once the data starts arriving (or doesn’t as the case may be). To be able to answer the frustratingly simple question “am I losing money here?” requires a clear focus and ability to adapt.
When you have a team with these attributes and the right strategic direction and support, then maybe, to steal from Eric, the caterpillar might well become a butterfly.