Francois Combrinck urges you not to leave stakeholder engagement and management to chance, and to nurture stakeholder relationships to unlock hidden value.
Francois Combrink is an independent business analyst who consults to large and mid-tier South African banks on AML/CFT (Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism) technology solutions.
Francois provides expert advice on new technology projects and assists clients to reduce the cost of compliance and realise the full value of their AML/CFT Technology Investment. Francois is also a regular speaker at business analysis and AML/CFT industry events.
Congratulations on your recent talk at the Business Analysis Summit Southern Africa, it was well received by many. For those who weren’t fortunate to attend, could you give us a synopsis of what your presentation was about?
Thank you for your kind words! The key message of the talk was that
… business analysts are unable to to deliver value – which is the ultimate goal of any organisational change initiative we are involved in – unless we understand our stakeholders and win their trust.
The talk identified some basic techniques for identifying and classifying stakeholders – paying our dues to the fundamentals – but then also drew on research from social sciences to provide some strategies for understanding our stakeholders and gaining their trust.
The topic is clearly an area that you are personally passionate about. Why do you feel this subject is relevant and important for the business analysis profession?
The technical skills business analysts acquire when they go for training is really just their ticket to the game. What makes us extraordinary business analysts is our ability to understand our stakeholders and really dig deeply into what their perception of value is.
When we understand our stakeholders’ true perception of value and when we learn how to interact with them in meaningful ways, we are really on a path to deliver the kind of value that changes the world.
Having shared your ideas with the business analysis community. What key points would you like people to take-away, reflect and act upon?
Only when business analysts learn to gain the trust of their stakeholders by learning to understand them, are they truely able to really deliver value.
Business analysis summit spoiled in terms of the learning and networking opportunities. What was your greatest personal insight taken from the business analysis conference?
I am hesitant to use the ‘I’ word because it is often used it to the point where it almost means very little, and that by itself was one of the sobering thoughts that struck me at the summit. To summarise,
I was reminded of the perils of becoming a complacent business analyst, …
but I also discovered some critical practices to make innovation more than an ethereal ideal.
Having been a regular speaker at local business analysis events. What words of encouragement do you have for people who may be considering presenting in future?
Take the leap and start talking. Each time I prepare a talk I think “surely everyone knows this already” or “what new insights could I possibly have on this topic that someone else would find interesting”. Thankfully by the time I start thinking like that it is too late to back out. I think all speakers feel that way at some point and I have learnt to use that as a driving force to find the business analysis insights that are worth sharing rather than be paralysed by it.
Download Francois Combrinck‘s slide-deck from BA Summit SA 2016 to get more guidance on training from Nurture Stakeholder Relationships To Unlock Value. How do you nurture stakeholder relationships? Let @FCombrinck and @Newbert over on Twitter.