Friday, September 08, 2006


Enterprise Architecture and Work/Life Balance

Got an email from an EA at a local pharmaceutical whom I wish the best for in his upcoming operation. He made me think deeply as to whether I have the right work/life balance...

The challenge of work/life balance alludes many. For some, it takes a heart attack, a failed marriage or some other tragic event to gain the right perspective. The funny thing is that most EAs are guilty of not only not maintaining balance for themselves but causing others to go out of balance.

Over the last couple of months, I realize that at some level I have lost my soul. I actually forgot how to be a person and have gotten consumed into noodling what it will take to get the next job tier and one upping everyone else in the industry when it comes to applying security architecture to corporate America. I need to re-read the cluetrain manifesto as the first step of becoming human again at work.

One perspective is that balance is bullshit and can never be obtained. It is simply a repeat-after-me indoctrination thing that folks say in order to make our world perceived to be a better place. We understand that reality is always different than perception.

Yet another perspective is that many folks think they are entitled to balance as if it is an inalienable right. Society is losing its rights every single day. Our government will soon take this away from us as well. If we work hard enough at it, one goes, we can have everything. Or if we cut back, we can have just enough to be truly content. The first obliges us to accomplish too much, often at too high a price; the second doesn't let us accomplish enough. Either way, balance is a relic, a fleeting phenomenon of a closed, industrial economy that doesn't apply in a global, knowledge-based world.

My son is now officially in kindergarten. Maybe the right balance is to not only spend more time with him but to also let him be a kid. So many of us parents start ruining kids and their sense of balance. Maybe it is futile for me to achieve any form of balance but maybe my kids can. I wonder if I become a member of the PTA, can I counter the crap they teach in school so that others to can grow up with the proper perspective on balance...

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