The Best of Straight Talk 2019


It’s time to look back on another year of StraightTalk! This is the time when we reflect and recognize your most favorite content from 2019.  

We launched StraightTalk on April 3, 2017 with a mission to explain business architecture from end-to-end, with the goal of helping to advance the discipline globally through shared knowledge. Going on three years later, the blog is read by business architecture practitioners, leaders and partners from six continents. Most importantly, people are using the StraightTalk content to build their careers, build their practices, socialize the discipline and infuse new ideas into their spheres of influence.

To all of you who subscribe, read and share the blog with others — Thank You for being on this journey with us. StraightTalk exists for you and because of you.  It is an honor to be a part of your journeys, whether you are a business architecture professional, an organization who is establishing a business architecture practice, or someone who is just passionate about learning more.  We will continue to create valuable content that you can use, strive to push the boundaries and delight you in new ways, and create clarity around business architecture.

Keep reading, keep talking to us, and keep making a difference every day to advance the business architecture discipline, which we are all so passionate about!

What follows is a compilation of your favorite StraightTalk posts, diagrams, inspirational quotes and more — all based on your personal feedback and analytics gathered from our social media presence and other sources.

The Best StraightTalk Posts

Here were some of your favorite blog posts:

  • Posts No. 46, No. 47 and No. 48 StraightTalk Mini-Series: Seeing is Believing (a.k.a. How Business Architecture Practices Can Leverage Presentation Design, Graphic Recording and Facilitation, and Storytelling for Greater Success).
  • Post No. 53 – Ecosystem is the New Organization (a.k.a How Business Architecture #Capabilities and #ValueStreams Can Connect Everything)
  • Post No. 56 – A Win-Win Situation (a.k.a. How to Get Some Business Architecture Quick Wins)
  • Post No. 57 – Return On Business Architecture Investment (ROBAI) (a.k.a. How to Calculate the ROI of Business Architecture)
  • Post No. 66 – Servant First (a.k.a. How Servant Leadership Makes Business Architects More Impactful)
  • Post No. 64 – The Business Architect Imperative (a.k.a. Showing Up With WOW)
  • Post No. 63 – The Enterprise Advocate (a.k.a How Business Architecture Brings Clarity to Customers and Products)
  • Post No. 60 – Evolving the Organizational DNA Part 3: Ethics (a.k.a. How Business Architecture Can Enable Ethical Decision-Making and Actions)

The Best StraightTalk Podcasts

We shared a broad range of podcasts with incredibly talented and insightful experts, ranging from expert business architects to film producers and designers. Here were our guest stars and their podcasts which informed and inspired us:

StraightTalk Podcast

5-Minutes with Josué Batista: How Business Architecture Can Help To Leverage Blockchain (Blog Post No. 43)

10-Minutes with Bryan Lail & Steve DuPont: Alignment of the TOGAF® Enterprise Architecture Framework with the BIZBOK® Guide (Blog Post No. 45)

20-Minutes With James Jones: How Business Architecture Practices Can Leverage Presentation Design for Greater Success (Blog Post No. 46)

5-Minutes with Sarah Greer: How Business Architecture Practices Can Leverage Graphic Recording and Facilitation For Greater Success – Part 1 (Blog Post No. 47)

15-Minutes with Michael Pemberton: How Business Architecture Teams Can Leverage Graphic Recording and Facilitation for Greater Success – Part 2 (Blog Post No. 47)

15-Minutes with Tamara Park: How Business Architecture Practices Can Leverage Storytelling For Greater Success – Part 3 (Blog Post No. 48)

10-Minutes With William Ulrich: How Business Architecture Can Help Organizations to Become A Cognitive Enterprise (Blog Post No. 61)

15-Minutes With Dr. Frank Granito: Digital Readiness and How Business Architecture Can Accelerate Preparedness (Blog Post No. 62)

10-Minutes With Jeff Dols: The Concept of Servant Leadership and Business Architecture (Blog Post No. 66)

The Best StraightTalk Inspirational Quotes

Here are some favorite quotes that inspired and motivated you within the spirit of business architecture, from our podcast guests and other thought leaders.

On Business…

“Building a visionary company requires one percent vision and 99 percent alignment.” 

— James C. Collins (Blog Post No. 45)

“If you don’t like change, you are going to like irrelevance even less.”

— General Eric Shinseki (Blog Post No. 53)

On Technology…

“Digital readiness is about having the right processes, agility, and culture to compete and continually adapt in the lightning-quick digital economy. Digital readiness focuses on the organization, not the technology – and as a result, business architecture is a key enabler to the organizational discipline which is the foundation of digital readiness.”

— Dr. Frank Granito (Blog Post No. 62 and podcast guest)

“Blockchain is an architectural concept. Business architecture is key for success because it helps us to create clarity of intention. Blockchain and all of these emerging technologies will rely on a greater understanding of the business, and business architecture provides that perspective. I think this is the most exciting opportunity of all.”

— Josué Batista (Blog Post No. 43 and podcast guest)

“A cognitive enterprise is built on a dual foundation of a business knowledgebase and cognitive computing technology. As a result, business architecture is critical in that it provides the structure for the business knowledgebase. Organizations that want to transform into a cognitive enterprise should start now to avoid being left behind – there are no magic catch up points.”

— William Ulrich (Blog Post No. 61 and podcast guest)

On Who We Are and How We Work As Business Architects

“Business architects play a vital role as the guide within an organization’s story. They make order out of chaos, and create a path to transformation.”

— Tamara Park (Blog Post No. 48 and podcast guest)

“The business does not always understand or appreciate our architecture models and there’s no way to make them – we have to meet them where they are at and that is what graphics do.”

— Michael Pemberton (Blog Post No. 47 and podcast guest)

“We’re just enthusiastic about what we do.”

— Steve Jobs (Blog Post No. 64)

“I’ve found servant leadership to be essential in the life of a business architect – from working with stakeholders to launching and growing a business architecture practice. It has been a life-changing journey for me, and not just for my work as a business architect, but also in my relationships with family and friends and my volunteer work.”

— Jeff Dols (Blog Post No. 66 and podcast guest)

 “Unless someone like you cares an awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

— Dr. Seuss, The Lorax (Blog Post No. 63)

The Best StraightTalk Icons

Part of what makes StraightTalk special is the design. Here were some of your favorite icons from select posts:

StraightTalk 2019 Favorite Icons
Top Row (left to right) — Post No. 44: The Business Architecture Summit (a.k.a. A Vision For Business Architecture Practice Maturity and How To Get There); Post No. 49: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (a.k.a. The Dos and Don’ts of Establishing a Business Architecture Practice); Post No. 50: Living the Dream (a.k.a. How to Integrate Business Architecture With Strategy Execution); Evolving the Organizational DNA seriesPost. No. 58: Part 1 on How Business Architecture Can Enable Organizational Sustainability, Post No. 59: Part 2 on How Business Architecture Can Enable Policy Making and Compliance and Post No. 60: Part 3 on How Business Architecture Can Enable Ethical Decision-Making and Actions. Bottom Row (left to right) – Post No. 61: Envisioning The Future Organization (a.k.a. How Business Architecture Can Help Organizations To Become A Cognitive Enterprise) Post No. 62: Semper Paratus (Always Ready) (a.k.a What Is Digital Readiness and How Business Architecture Can Accelerate It); Post No. 65: We Are The World (a.k.a. A Global Snapshot of Business Architecture: Today and Trending)

The Best StraightTalk Diagrams

We promised to give you a diagram you can use in every single post and we’ve continued to keep that commitment. Here were some of your favorites.

Diagram from Post No. 47 — Leveraging Business Architecture to Translate Strategy Into Action

Diagram from Post No. 48 —Story Structure for Business Architects.

Diagram from Post No. 49 —Guidance for Establishing a Business Architecture Practice

Diagram from Post No. 52 —Business Objects are Ubiquitous Throughout Business Architecture

Diagram from Post No. 57 —Calculating Return on Business Architecture Investment (ROBAI)

Diagram from Post No. 63 — Defining an Organizations Customers and Products

Diagram from Post No. 64 —The Ways of Working (WOWs) For a Successful Business Architect


Here were a few of your notables from 2019:

We put business architecture together with many unique concepts.

For example, in 2019 we looked at business architecture and strategy execution (revisited), ecosystems, sustainability, policy-making and compliance, ethics, servant leadership, digital readiness, blockchain and the cognitive enterprise.

We emphasized the importance that it’s not just what business architects do, but how.

We explored the importance of leveraging presentation design (Post No. 46), graphic recording and facilitation (Post No. 47) and storytelling (Post No. 48) to make the usage and socialization of business architecture more effective. We also reflected on Ways of Working that can help business architects adapt to the current realities and be more successful (Post No. 64).

We brought strategy execution and business architecture to life (size).

In Post No. 47, talented graphic facilitator Sarah Greer created a 12 foot by 8 foot hand-drawn masterpiece based on a one-hour webinar on “Leveraging Business Architecture to Translate Strategy Into Action” Below is Sarah in action and you can see the resulting digitized version of the graphic on Leveraging Business Architecture to Translate Strategy Into Action.

Sarah Greer, Graphic Recorder in action

Fun Facts: StraightTalk By The Numbers

Did you know:

  • Readership – StraightTalk subscribers are located across 6 continents and within 26 countries that we know of, with extended readership through social media and sharing among colleagues.
  • Authorship – StraightTalk posts have been written from 14 different countries and counting, on every one of the 7 continents. They have been written within and between countries, on planes, on trains, on boats, on buses, in taxis, in cars, in hotels and at home, and even on a mountain and during civil unrest. The first StraightTalk post was written in Mexico City, Mexico.
  • The StraightTalk – As of year-end 2019, we have published 69 StraightTalk blog posts. We have also recorded 16 podcasts that are available both in our media resources as well as wherever you listen to your podcasts such as Apple, Spotify, and Stitcher.


Thank you to everyone who has shared kind words and new ideas for StraightTalk posts and podcasts. We love hearing from our readers and we’re open to your thoughts, questions or comments about business architecture. Keep them coming and you may see your idea as a source for inspiration for an upcoming StraightTalk installment! Click the “Share Your Ideas” button below to submit your suggestions for future posts.

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A huge thanks to our 2019 guest stars, Josue Batista, Bryan Lail, Steve Dupont, James Jones, Sarah Greer, Michael Pemberton, Tamara Park, William Ulrich, Frank Granito and Jeff Dols for their fantastic podcasts and posts – and for sharing their precious time and wisdom with all of us.

Extra special thanks to Sarah Greer for sharing her time and incredible talent to create a hand-drawn strategy execution and business architecture poster, which is a true work-of-art and gift to us all. (Blog Post No. 47)

As always, huge thanks to Communique Marketing Solutions LLC for continuing to provide the amazing design and creativity that makes StraightTalk so unique, valuable and fun.

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