Wednesday, December 28, 2005
The next time this phenomena happens to you, attempt to place yourself into one of the following categories:
- cognitive dissonance: People are unconfortable with clashing beliefs
- confirmation bias: People can ignore stuff that contradicts what they want to be true
- disconfirmation bias: People can overly criticize that contradicts what they want to be true
- expectancy effect: People see patterns in support of their ideas where nothing actually exists
- loss aversion: People have asymmetric risk profiles
- status quo bias: People like to stick with what they know
Several months back, I attended a diversity event and learned something that wasn't apparent before I attended. Many of my peers have discussed the notion of diversity in private situations on several occasions. Being that I have a background that lets me check several EEOC categories, I felt it was important to set them straight on a couple of issues.
Within many companies, the trend of hiring folks from insulting firms and putting them into senior positions is on the rise. Was thinking about starting my own diversity club and will invite anyone who wants to get promoted but hasn't worked for one of these firms. I wonder what HR would think?
Getting back on track, diversity is not about how you see others, it is about understanding how others see you! In order to figure out the why enterprise architects defend bad ideas requires you to see things in through their glasses and their experiences, not through your own.
One action item that comes to mind is that enterprise architects need to practice saying only those things that the people around you can hear. For an ongoing conflict (getting peers to embrace open source is one that comes to mind for me), spending a part of each day extending your understanding of their ideas such that your ideas can be heard. Do not waste your time and your opposite's by re-iterating unhearable words. Doing so is not only non-communication in the moment, it is building a context of non-communication across the long term.
Understand that the search for truth is futile. There is no truth in enterprise architecture, only usefulness. I know that some wise peer of mines will ask: Is that true, or just useful...