Business Shaping for Entrepreneurs inaugural course


Our inaugural Business Shaping for Entrepreneurs course and workshop took place in September 2016 in London. Since this workshop, the Stratability Academy is now transitioning to a new set of courses on Transformation for SMEs – coming soon in 2019!

This first workshop ran over 2 days to provide participants with a hands-on experience where they get to apply the techniques and use the tools from THE STRATEGY JOURNEY® Framework directly on their businesses and ideas. The course was very much a ‘HOW TO’ course, and not a ‘WHAT else do I need to do course’ for those who wanted that helping hand in the early stages of their business journey.

The workshop was specially designed to help startups and smaller businesses early on in their journey to validate their mission and vision and their business model, as well as design key components that form the foundation or bedrock of their business before they begin to scale. This is the essence of what we call BUSINESS SHAPING in the framework and method.

This highly practical workshop included a copy of THE STRATEGY JOURNEY® Workbook (version 1), which was used throughout the course so that participants could walk away with an early set of strategies and a roadmap to help them move their business forward. We strongly encouraged our participants to keep testing and validating their strategies with their customers and staff to ensure a robust transformation journey that will both onboard and embed successfully.

We use the framework ourselves to run our business as well as supporting all of our courses and learning programs for individuals and enterprises, so many of the worked examples are of the Stratability Academy.

The inaugural workshop was run by Julie Choo, our own founder here at the Stratability Academy and lead author of THE STRATEGY JOURNEY® Book (coming out in November 2018).

Here are some comments from a few attendees…whom we’d like to thank for providing heaps of great feedback.




‘Singapore is very business friendly’ – Success on our Singapore Trade Mission

September 2017: This has certainly been a busy month for us here at Stratability as Founder and CEO Julie Choo took part in the Enterprise Nation Go Global Singapore Trade Mission at the end of September, together with an extended trip to explore expanding our business into the ASEAN region.

It’s natural as smaller businesses grow to look at expansion through exporting into other countries. We cover how to do this international expansion properly in our book, THE STRATEGY JOURNEY® (coming out via Kickstarter in November 2017 with general release in early to mid 2018).

So, to ensure we practice what we preach, or rather teach, to others, that is exactly the journey that Stratability is embarking on at the moment, together with a bit of blue sky strategy thrown in.

Over the 3 days of the Trade Mission, Julie, and other delegates from digital businesses in the UK who are looking to expand into the Singapore and ASEAN markets, spent time with companies including Unilever, HSBC, KPMG, IRIS Worldwide, Singtel Innov8, Delphi Digital and more.

Unilever Foundry Level 3 Singapore

There were talks from and tours of tech and digital accelerators and co-working spaces. These included muru-D, a Singapore-based accelerator funded by telecoms giant Telstra. Also Singtel Innov8’s famous Block 71 where they highlighted some really cool drone technology to defuse flying bombs. KPMG’s Digital Village was another stop. They are moving FinTech innovation at a lightning pace with the support of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Unilever’s Level 3 Foundry really delivered on the accelerator experience. There was a giant blow-up unicorn, great free coffees and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and a Smart Home Lab with space for demonstrations and tests as part of Singapore’s bid to be a giant test and innovation lab for all things digital and IoT (Internet of Things) as part of its Smart Nation initiative.

Enterprise Nation Go Global Trade Mission SingaporeOf course there was great support from Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB), which highlighted how they believe that ’80 of the top 100 global tech companies are based in Singapore’, really showcasing the level of innovation in Singapore and how it was really becoming a hub for digital innovation and digital transformation.

In fact, there are ways to fast track the process for SMEs like Stratability to join Singapore’s GeBiz platform where it can bid for government projects and be seen, as well as many grants, that’s right, grant funding, that supports SMEs. There was also great support and advice as a local business leader Kok-Chin Tay (or Mr Happy!) who led by example by talking through his experiences and showed the delegates how to navigate Singapore’s landscape including leveraging services like AIESEC UK –  a Global Talent programme for graduates assisting UK businesses in Singapore.

Also on hand to support were the UK ASEAN Council, HSBC, KPMG’s local accounting team, the UK Department of Trade (DIT) and the British Chamber of Commerce (also known as BritCham) – providing small and medium size businesses (SMEs) like Stratability with support on the ground to set up a local network of contacts in Singapore. Many members of the group expressed their frustration about the level of support from some of these groups with big promises but little follow through or quality, so we will certainly be trying them out and updating this post and blog to provide details of our experience. More on this soon! Julie thinks it’s important to provide transparency on these services as any problems will help them improve leading to a better service overall for SMEs – so we will not be sugar coating anything – with poor service and empty promises highlighted.

Enterprise Nation Go Global Trade Mission SingaporeWhat came out loud and clear according to Julie was that ‘Singapore is very business friendly’ with the infrastructure and government support for entrepreneurship and SMEs to setup and do business not just in Singapore but also across the ASEAN region using Singapore as a base. Julie has spoken on our blog before about the unique climate for business that Singapore has brought together and all these elements were clearly displayed throughout the trip, but the further support and opportunities to expand into ASEAN were even more impressive.

While Singapore has just under 6 million residents, the ASEAN block of 10 countries as whole has over 600 million people, so many more business opportunities to pursue. It is here where Julie sees many blue sky opportunities for Stratability as we take our product and service offerings to these markets where local entrepreneurs and SMEs are more hungry for support from Stratability’s e-learning platform services and training – including our Business Shaping for Entrepreneurs course. While not a direct lead from the Trade Mission, Stratability has been invited to do a full DEMO with a big business network as well as a university/polytechnic in Singapore in January already (this was the reason and advantage gained from extending the trip – according to Julie).

The Trade Mission also included a fun challenge held by IRIS Worldwide! Julie and other delegates learnt a lot about Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative including the many innovative ways Singapore and the businesses that operate within it, have implemented SMART digital technologies with a human touch. The delegates were broken up into 4 teams and got to go out into Singapore via Uber or Grab, with a mission to find out and present on the topic – ‘How can our clients lead the Smart City agenda in Singapore?’ Julie’s team worked on Samsung and she presented her and the teams’ ideas on the Samsung Apartment and how Samsung connectivity can be used to support three generation families across Singapore. The other groups also worked on Shell, Starbucks and the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

The final day comprised of a really interesting final session. A panel of UK businesses who are already doing business in Singapore talking about how they find doing business in the region. It was great to hear their experiences and have the chance to ask questions – answers by the likes of Margaret Manning OBE, the CEO of Adelphi Digital and Andrew Pickup who is Head of Communications at Microsoft as well as being Chair of the IT group at British Chamber of Commerce in Singapore.

Enterprise Nation Go Global Trade Mission SingaporeThe Trade Mission was a great success for Stratability. As well as meeting other UK businesses who are keen to expand their business into the region in partnership with us, we connected with leading experts in Singapore and were able to talk to them about Stratability and The Strategy Journey, all of which was well received. We now have our work cut out for us as we prepare for this DEMO in January when Julie returns to Singapore, and we are also following up with meetings to form potential partnerships with some of the other UK founders on the Trade Mission including THE SOCIAL KINETIC, who are design thinking experts in the medical technology field, and THE HOUSE, a digital branding agency.

UPDATE: Since the Trade Mission, Stratability is now set up to operate in Singapore – led by local Capability Director Lauren Houghton and local Business Development and Coaching Lead, Sam Chia. Check out their profiles here.


Stratability CEO heads to Singapore on a Trade Mission

Stratability CEO heads to Singapore on a Trade Mission

5 September 2017: Julie Choo, Stratability CEO heads to Singapore on a Trade Mission with Enterprise Nation.

Along with other digital and technology companies, Stratability will be in Singapore for the three-day mission in September which is focused on digital, tech and creative businesses.

Singapore is the perfect location for ambitious British brands with benefits including a common language, strong historical ties and similar business and legal practices. It is also recognised as having Asia’s strongest intellectual property protection, with a highly skilled and educated local population.

The three day mission from 20-24 September is open to just 25 brands who will gain:

  • an understanding of the creative technology landscape in Singapore
  • the ins and outs of tax, legal, trade and finance process and systems
  • opportunity to make sales, connections and collaborations with local agencies, government representatives, accelerators and your fellow mission goers
  • meetings with entrepreneurs who will share their learnings and successes

As you know already, Julie is a big fan of Singapore. Ranked by the World Bank as one of the easiest places in the world to start a business, two thirds of British exports to South East Asia head to Singapore.

And it is easy to see why. With its proven track record at running this small island country like a business with an Agile Operating Model, Singapore is a perfect example of THE STRATEGY JOURNEY framework in action! Writing on THE STRATEGY JOURNEY blog earlier this year, Julie goes into what Singapore has done to create an environment for innovative businesses and cutting-edge technology.

As well as taking part in the Trade Mission, Julie will be in Singapore for the global launch of Stratability. Taking our unique training and learning offerings to such an innovative market is exciting for us and we are looking forward to meeting new businesses and people to work with and alongside in the future.

Enterprise Nation were keen to get Julie’s thoughts on the Trade Mission before she leaves and you can read more about what she is hoping to achieve in Singapore in her interview on the Enterprise Nation blog.


Applied Operating Model Design Course Launch

Applied Operating Model Design with The Strategy Journey in the Digital Age

Applied Operating Model Design (AOM) has been updated and upgraded to provide more time for workshop participants to absorb and practice the method from THE STRATEGY JOURNEY Framework. The course focuses on Service Design techniques from the framework to transform the Operating Model in the Digital Age. Learn More about the new course Transforming Operating Models with Service Design … below …
[UPDATED 04 MAY 2018]

Launching Applied Operating Model Design

In May and June 2017, the Stratability Academy successfully launched our Applied Operating Model Design course in Sydney Australia and London UK. Both inaugural courses were run by course author, our very own CEO, Julie Choo, who provided insights into her techniques for operating model design and implementation of operating model transformation honed from over 15 years as a practicing business architect. The course covers how businesses can shape their operating model to become more effective and agile in the Digital Age.

This is the first industry certified course based on THE STRATEGY JOURNEY Framework, covering three of the models in the methodology including the Value Model, Operating Model and Transformation Model. The main focused is to help attendees apply strategy design, the WHAT, though to strategy execution, the HOW.

What are our Customers Saying?

It has been great to receive such positive and encouraging feedback from our attendees including the Head of Business Design at a global consumer goods insurer, who said that the course was unique and unlike anything else out there.

This course is the only thing out there that truly covers the scope of how complicated Operating Models really are and helps to bridge that gap between Strategy Design and Strategy Execution. I have read many books and been on many other courses, that only repeat theory that I already know or over simplify everything. None have shown me how to practically tackle the transformation and change execution gap using value streams and the customer journey like in this course – Applied Operating Model Design.

Another attendee, who is the CIO of a global media company said:

It was just at the right level of detail for me and I think more senior people should attend this course. It opened my eyes to what areas that we need to address in our organisation and I have lots of next steps to take back to discuss with my CEO and with my team.

Two other attendees, the solutions architect and the transformation program lead from a major public sector transport network in the UK, both said:

The unique way that the course covers how to use shared services and show how the IT organisation can work together with the business is key to the success of all operating model change implementations. We hope to take these methods back and implement them.

Find out more about what other attendees thought of the course from our blog: Go to blog 

Co-creating with Alumni

As result of the great feedback from our alumni, we have actually been continuously updating the course and workshop – in essence co-creating with everyone. Through this engagement with our alumni, we have gathered a lot of input into the customer journey of learners who want to learn about Business Architecture, Operating Models and the strategy-to-execution lifecycle – the THE STRATEGY JOURNEY Framework.

We’ve had so many alumni ask us to include content about handling digital disruption and digital transformation. They have also asked us how to better deliver value that is aligned to strategy to help improve benefits realization or return on investment (ROI).

Three Guided Paths through THE STRATEGY JOURNEY

So we hear you – AND we have updated and upgraded Applied Operating Model Design to 3 simpler, better and faster courses too as they are all 3 days rather than 4 days. Each of these workshops align to one of our 3 guided paths in THE STRATEGY JOURNEY Framework:

  1. Business Design for Disruption
  2. Transforming Operating Models with Service Design
  3. Managing the Transformation Journey

All three paths and hence workshops are focused on allowing enterprises of all shapes and sizes, to join the dots on their strategy-to-execution journey. And they are tuned to help enterprises transform in the face of all the disruption and the rapidly changing ecosystem that is our Digital Economy.

In addition to the these new updated and upgraded courses, we have also created THE STRATEGY JOURNEY Community, a member’s portal with access to lots of free materials including downloadable templates, whitepapers, case study examples, webinars and more… Members can share their successes as well as ask questions on the community forum too. All course participants and alumni have additional access to their course materials from the Member’s Portal.

Transforming Operating Models with Service Design

This new 3 day workshop is the closest direct replacement for Applied Operating Model Design, but the content been significantly updated and upgrade, including the Case Study materials.

The Transforming Operating Models with Service Design path is a value-drive approach, with the tools and techniques focused on producing value for an enterprise and all its stakeholders. In this workshop, we take learners on a journey, providing a guided path through 7 of the templates that form THE STRATEGY JOURNEY Framework. Course participants get to practically apply design thinking techniques to solve a case study scenario using the 7 templates. Of course the workshop covers the inputs and outputs from these 7 templates, which are all aligned to producing value. An additional 8 templates that form the next steps following the outputs that are designed during the course are also introduced, to help the process of taking participants into the path for Managing the Transformation Journey.

With New Multi-sided Case Study Challenges

Our previous case study on BankCo. used in the Applied Operating Model Design course was very challenging for attendees outside the banking industry who found it difficult to relate to their own situations. So we have changed the case study to one that covers an Ecosystem that involves Digital, Learning, Real Estate, Community & Marketing, Funding and Venture Capital, Multi-sided Platforms, and more…

What’s great about this new case study is its ability to be cross industry, covering almost any industry situation. It covers both commercial and public sector problems. It also covers internal services to internal customers such as IT, Operations and Infrastructure Services, and of course external facing customer services or value propositions. Multi-sided platforms are covered too, with this being a big trend in the Digital Economy.

In fact, workshop attendees can choose within their teams on the course, who their customers are and design a new Service and Operating Model during the 3 days to solve a specific problem. They then move onto to workout HOW to transform the Operating Model. Every attendee who actively participates will walk away with an outcome for their  case study challenge.

Of course our Stratability Academy Certified Trainers are on-hand to help explain how to relate any specific or particular industry or organization problems to the case study challenges on the workshop too

[popup_anything id=”17935″]

[optin-monster-shortcode id=”ra84xjc0dozztcwwwuem”]

Machine Intelligence & Autonomous Vehicles Summit 2017

Julie Choo speaks about THE STRATEGY JOURNEY at Machine Intelligence Summit

Our Founder and CEO, Julie Choo was MC on Day 2 at the inaugural European Machine Intelligence in Autonomous Vehicles Summit held in Amsterdam from 28-29 June 2017 run by

Julie spoke about key topics in her upcoming book THE STRATEGY JOURNEY®, including how to use AI and Autonomous vehicle technologies to empower the operating model of a business. She discussed the Uber case study and how Uber’s business and operating models will continue to change, along with those of many other organizations and even societal changes, as machine intelligence technologies continue to advance, changing how we will all work and hence the jobs landscape forever.

As well as her opening talk, Julie also had the chance to interview several other tech leaders from CIOs and CTOs, Data Scientists to VC Partners, who will all be covered in our blog and in the book as well.

For a full round-up of the action at the summit, check out her blog:

What’s driving our future?

or check out her blog interview with Daniel Gebler, CTO of Picnic on:

AI Operating Model strategies

CEO Julie Choo at the Umbraco Festival UK 2016

Julie Choo speaks about THE STRATEGY JOURNEY at Umbraco 2016 UK

As well as working hard writing THE STRATEGY JOURNEY® book, out in November 2018, our Founder and CEO Julie Choo has been out and about speaking at events and workshops.

On Friday 4th November she spoke at the Umbraco Festival UK 2016 at the great CodeNode venue in London.

Speaking about how you can bring a strategy mindset to software development and project management, Julie shared her love for gaming, Starwars, Football and Formula One! We were pleased to see that she won a convert to one of her favourite sports:

But it wasn’t all gaming anecdotes and inspirational quotes. At Stratability we see a world where individuals and organisations are driven by passion. By helping others to master THE STRATEGY JOURNEY® we can help them to be successful in life and business and follow that passion to success. Being part of events like this is a big part of starting a conversation about how we plan and execute for success and how we can help others to do the same.  

See a video of the talk in full here:

NB: Thanks to Cogworks for organisating the Umbraco Festival UK 2016 and sharing the above video.