Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Enterprise Architecture and Innovation
I figured this would be a good opportunity to share some of my perspectives:
- Tom talks to many people in corporate America every day. He explains to me that some of the people he talks two seem to have two different personalities. One being their true inner self, capable of displaying emotional intelligence, cognitive reasoning, and are innovative and generally curious. But then they transform into their corporate personality where they assimilate, follow orders, and don't rock the boat.
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.
- James has very strong opinions both technically and politically. He has created a platform for himself where he can express his opinions with no constraints and without being bound by the walls of a corporation. He can do this because he keeps his company's identity hidden and does not represent the views of his employer. I am pretty sure James speaks in an entirely different tone at work.
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.
- For me, to discuss many of the things at work that I write about, I would have to devote a substantial amount of additional time crafting "politically acceptable" messages to cater to an audience that has certain expectations and guidelines.
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