Business partnering: Are you in or out?


All quiet for decades.

Then we have Scotland. Then the EU. What’s next?

Is it time for the Finance Business Partner referendum?

I have a problem with the term.

Maybe not so much the term itself, rather how it is interpreted at an unconscious level.

When we talk about ‘partnering the business’, we are making some presuppositions.

A presupposition is a an implicit assumption about something.

For a statement to be considered appropriate in context, the presupposition must be mutually known and accepted by both parties.

For example if I say:

‘I’m not an accountant any more’

The presupposition is that I was once an accountant.

If I go on to say:

‘I partner the business’

This presupposes that there is ‘a business’.

By defining ‘the business’ we are in effect putting a boundary around it.

Inside the boundary is ‘the business’. Outside the boundary is ‘not the business’.

The word partner in this context means 2 parties working together.

So that means that there is ‘a business’ and a ‘finance business partner’, working together.

By calling ourselves ‘finance business partners’ which side of the boundary are we unconciously putting ourselves?

We want to be ‘in’.

Unconsciously are we are sending the message that we’re ‘out’?


Maybe. Maybe not.

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