Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Enterprise Architecture and Innovation

Mike Kavis of CIO magazine wrote an interesting blog on The Innovation Escape Hatch that is worthy of exploration...

I figured this would be a good opportunity to share some of my perspectives:
At some level one's persona should change. The way I interact with my significant other, my friends and family are most certainly different than how I interact with my co-workers and folks I meet within a work-context and they should be. I don't know that it is not about rocking the boat as much as much of the conversation changes due to social correctness. If you consider for a moment, most of us Americans work in diverse cultures but outside of work we don't experience this same form of diversity amongst friends and family.

Consider the simple truth that within my own family, I have family members that are Catholic, Baptist, Jehovah's Witness, Hindu, Muslim and Judiasm. Since they are my family members I can say lots of things about animal worship, how there is one God and only one God, there is no such thing as the Trinity or anything that comes to mind and family members will think of it as my eccentric personality and ignore it. However if I did the same thing in a work-context, it is guaranteed that I will be spending my morning in human resources.

Of course there is another perspective to rocking the boat which is a form of human risk adversion. Except in Wall Street firms where risk is rewarded at annual bonus time, most corporations over time have proven that you are better compensated by not sticking your neck out. It is better to duckdown and not be associated with any failure while attempting to heist your leg and add your unique smell to anything that feels successful.

The funny thing is that I actually do have constraints on what I say and don't within my blog. Many of my blog entries do offend but I do draw the line at being insulting.

In terms of the perspective that I keep my employer's identity hidden, it is not for the reasons one would assume. Reality says that it is pretty easy for someone to figure out whom my employer is. One of the reasons that I don't tend to mention my employer is that readers of blogs will read into what I am saying and think that I am somehow providing a public status of all of the things that are going on in IT when in fact it could be something that I am simply noodling or could have been a conversation I had with an employee of another enterprise. We live in a small world where conversations that are started in the blogosphere manage to make their way into work discussions and I simply don't want folks who read what I write to get things twisted.

As far as me speaking in an entirely different tone at work, I think that this perspective is most certainly wrong. Consider the fact that I have mentioned that at work, I do have a security orientation. Folks simply expect and tolerate security oriented folks to have more of a confrontational perspective than other roles. Of course, security folks have their line as well but it is a lot different than say a business architect. With a security agenda, sometimes it is a sell and sometimes it is a tell where as folks who do SOA don't have the same ability to tell.

I think you are accurate at some level but are missing another perspective. In the blogosphere, since you don't really have a clue as to whom is reading your blog, you can adopt a mindset that you are writing for yourself and not really care at an individual level about thoughts and truly focus on the notion of community...

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