What matters to your customers?

I love this story told to me by Bridget Kelly, a Systems Thinker, about what matters to your customers.

A ten year old boy was strolling through the park. He was wandering aimlessly along kicking stones.

He had been doing this for some time when he noticed a large and unusual target. Just before he kicked it, he realized it was actually a frog. He bent down to pick it up whereupon he heard a voice say “Don’t kick me!” He couldn’t believe his ears and picked up the frog – the frog looked at him, its eyes pleading – “please don’t hurt me”. The boy was staggered – a talking frog! The frog spoke again. “Don’t hurt me. If you kiss me I’ll turn into a beautiful princess.”

The boy continued to stare at the frog in amazement. The frog pleaded again, “Kiss me, I’ll turn into a beautiful princess and do anything you want.” The boy simply tucked the frog in his pocket and carried on down the path kicking stones.

The frog jumped up and down in his pocket furiously. The boy finally took the frog from his pocket and brought it up to his face. “What’s the matter?” he asked the frog. The frog replied “I told you that if you kissed me I’d turn into a beautiful princess and I’ll do anything you like, but you just put me in your pocket – why?”

“I’d rather have a talking frog” said the boy.


So what matters to your customers?


2 thoughts on “What matters to your customers?

  1. Hi David,

    Many thanks for your presentation ‘Pulling Value’ from last year. I came across it today and found it to be extremely helpful. I have been working with teams using Agile and more recently Scrum to optimise new product development deliveries to market. We have had some good successes, but keep running into change related issues…resistance, don’t understand story points, velocity, etc. In the last year, I have been working closely with Lean practitioners from manufacturing and trying to link the 2 approaches. Intuitively, I suspected this was the right angle for a large, conservative banking environment, but your presentation has provided some facts and examples to bridge the different approaches. I will follow up on the Corey Ladas and David Anderson references, in particular, to get more detail on the business benefits of Lean and Kanban.

    Thanks again and look forward to your book…at 150 ppt slides you’re almost there!

    Paul Griffiths

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