Sunday, January 28, 2007


How the Ruby Community keeps James McGovern honest...

Enterprise architecture sometimes requires strong technical leadership, sometimes it requires IT/Business alignment, sometimes it requires heavy lifting in terms of an engineering discipline. The one thing that it also requires that I embarassed to admit to, is that enterprise architecture also requires Coffee clutch conversations in order to be successful. Being open in the way that James Governor's advocates doesn't just require sharing, it does require tradeoffs in terms of which conversation is more important.

In some ways, many bloggers are ranting because they are selling to folks who have already bought the party line while not brainstorming ways to get others to see the same value proposition they see. Let's stop talking about bottom up evangelism of open source, community 2.0 and the participation age but lets figure out how we can get those who can execute top down strategies to embrace it to better enable the strategic intent of the business they run.

My first blog was entitled: Thinking out Loud where the first step away from coffee clutch conversations is to throw ideas out in the public eye without necessarily waiting for them to be perfected (if there is such a thing). It minimally was the excerise that I put myself through in order to rid myself of the evil demons that have indoctrinated me into control the message thinking. Of course, I would love to reach higher levels of maturity with the notion of Loud Thinking being the highest on the maturity model but this is not something that will ever be seen, at least not within my own lifetime.

The second step for me was the notion of Thought Leadership where I would not only through out ideas in the public eye but attempt to plant seeds in which others could grow. Some have been wildly successful while others have turned into compost.

Last year, I commented that Ruby on Rails isn't enterprise ready by declaring facts that where true at the time so as to change the conversation. Of course this tactic caused many folks to respond passionately with matters of opinion instead of matters of fact but it did plant seeds that caused a few to get off their butts and create situations where they could factually prove me wrong.

I wonder if the same tactic could be used to attack enterprises for not participating in a larger context? Don't focus on me as I am a needle in a haystack. The important thing is to solve for the masses and figure out ways to also encourage them to participate while making it easier for those who take that small but important step towards being open. External conversations do have an effect on internal conversations but it is up to folks in the blogosphere to ensure that for those who participate that those effects alway remain positive...

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