Elite Conceptual was my special projects moniker I used for years before I started consulting, and dates back to a time when I competed and raced at the World level in Athletics.
What on earth does it mean, if anything. I’ve actually given it some thought.
As an elite athlete, I was steeped in the concepts of hard work, focus, and the creativeÂ applicationÂ of knowledge to further oneself. Small detailsÂ wouldÂ always work out to be huge advantages either in preparation or in actual training – I think it’s safe to say that being an Elite performer means at one level means being detail oriented.
Elite performers are constantly pushing boundaries, and themselves in order to find a breakthrough or some creative spark that initiates a new direction.
Change is embraced, risk is embraced.Â A single performance can change the future; it can make a reputation. It can also open doors to hardship and transition.
Constant preparation and training, is the means to create someÂ consistencyÂ in that activity, in order to control the direction of change.
Adaptability to change is critical to becoming great and consistent, rather than freezing time or circumstances.
Finally, it’s also a commitment to flowing with all change, and to accept loss and triumph with grace.
EliteÂ = Embracing change, risk, knowledge of the world and self, continual preparation, constantly adapting and pushing oneself to know and understand more, and never staying still in mind or body.
I believe its important to try to understand complexity, even if you simply view it from afar. Rationalizing or conceptualizing ecosystems, physical or virtual, natural or manmade. I’ve had a chance to study ecological and biological systems, and in my professional career I’ve become a student of information systems, during the rise of the internet, and the WWW. Change is a common theme. While information systems have become faster, bigger, and more complex, they’ve also become somewhat abstracted, the same way that the early years of theÂ telephoneÂ gave way to voice communications abstractions in the 1960s and 1970’s (pre-internet, fax, space age, etc). We are getting closer to simpler input systems that deal only in language, pictures, and sound.
The “conceptual” I have in mind is the process of giving form to the new relationships that exist between humans, their systems, and the technologies we’ve wrapped around and between us. Twitter has grown from a microblogging service into a major *force* that markets,Â governments, and nations the world over know well, and maybe fear, love, loathe, and at the same time all work feverishly to learn and master. And what’s most fascinating is that that “simple service” may be superceded in 5 years by somethingÂ evolutionaryÂ or revolutionary.
Something that a huge number of humans on earth have likely heard of, did not exist 5 years ago, and could give way to something else equally as powerful and unpredictable.
So a conceptual understanding of systems, or of change, or of human motivation is key to learning how tools can or should be evaluated for use, or how they will affect us.
As Marshall McLuhan did in his time, it can be helpful to watch the ecology of our surroundings to figure out where people, organizations and their systems may be headed. McLuhan was a master at that and he professed to only one skill – looking around him and telling what he saw. He had a masterful conceptual understanding of the world around him, and specifically the media and information systems.
“the printing press, the computer, and television are not therefore simply machines which convey information. They are metaphors through which we conceptualize reality in one way or another. They will classify the world for us, sequence it, frame it, enlarge it, reduce it, argue a case for what it is like. Through these media metaphors, we do not see the world as it is. We see it as our coding systems are. Such is the power of the form of information.”
ConceptualÂ = absorbing knowledge and using disciplined observation in order to *see* what is happening rond us, attempting to reach beyond the haze of interpretation and bias and describe the outcomes of our creations.
So that is Elite Conceptual, the name.
What do we do now? It’s currently focused on:
- Business Process Analysis
- Enterprise Architecture
- Enterprise Deployment
- Informatics and visual analysis tools.
- Information Systems Management
- ITIL/ITSM ImplementationsÂ andÂ interpretations.
- Systems Integration
- Web Projects, CMS integration and Development.