Strawman business change with 8 questions

  1. Who are you seeking to change?
  2. What do they desire?
  3. Why does it matter?
  4. Where does utility lie?
  5. Which promise are you making?
  6. How will you serve?
  7. How much will it take?
  8. When can it be done?

The intrapreneur

You’re the superhero swooping in to save the day. You’re all about the hustle and the grind—doing more and being more. You’re the one tackling issues and putting out fires.

It’s a false positive.

Being a superhero disarms your stakeholders. The team around you—customers, employees, suppliers—aren’t empowered to help themselves.

It’s easy to be drawn into the thrash.

But being an intrapreneur is about giving clarity on an outcome, choreographing the resources around them and making the objectives a reality.

It’s less about doing and more about enabling.

A simple mental switch

Now that you see that business analysis is about enabling a change, and that you can do it by identifying stakeholders who are a part of the change, fulfilling their desires and steering the way to change, let’s transform how you describe those you’re changing.

Perhaps instead of talking about customers, stakeholders and users, we could call them your “beneficiaries” instead.

Where are your beneficiaries?

How will they benefit by changing?

Are they willing to change?

What is their narrative about the change?

This isn’t the employee-manager relationship of instruction and compliance. And it’s not the organisational politics of power and coercion.

It’s the coachee-coach relationship of trust and acceptance and participation.

If you had the chance to show them, what would they see?

If you had a chance to see, what would you like to be shown?

Business Analysis Conference Europe Speaker – September 2020

London here I come!


As a subscriber you’ll know, I enthusiastically believe in the magic that good business analysis makes, and that I love writing, speaking and teaching on the topic.

Which is why I’m stoked to announce that I’ll be speaking at this year’s Business Analysis Conference Europe.

If you’re keen to reinvigorate your business analyst career for 2020 (and beyond), then I’d be delighted to help you ‘Mind the Competency Gap‘.

In a nutshell, we’ll make a plan to get you from where you are to where you want to be.

Conferences always feature way-up in my list of highlights each year. As a cauldron bubbling with ideas they never disappoint. Plus, of course, they’re a wonderful place to meet friends (old and new) and exchange ideas (new and old). And by going virtual it means that you can now join from anywhere in the world, and I’m excited to network with people from all corners of the earth.

The conference is happening from 21–23 September 2020, and you can see the full programme here.

I’m a little bleak that I won’t be stepping onto home soil to present in person, but I am properly excited to see you online at #BA2020.

Darn Tough Socks

Darn Tough Socks are priced accordingly, and they know that: “These are expensive socks, but they’re better though,” doesn’t work.

When you buy a pair of Darn Tough Socks you get a lifetime guarantee: “I bought these socks 20 years ago, and they’ve got a hole in them,” does work.

This manifesto is convincing and its principles are stitched into the product: design, manufacture and quality assurance are steered by the choice of materials, attention to specification and battle-testing them outdoors.

Darn Tough Socks do not mass-market a product pumped out of a factory at a rate of two-million pairs per day. That’s left for somebody else. Customers’ orient themselves around the product principles that are meaningful to them.

Being too generalist makes everyone an anyone, and not a someone.