Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Enterprise Architecture and Confrontation Management

Confrontation Management is the new Perception Management...

Perception is reality yet many enterprise architects suck at managing it. The one question that we haven't asked ourselves is whether management of perception has gone overboard. Would Wall Street be very different if folks stopped worrying about the perception of stockholders and instead payed attention to the reality of finance.

Good enterprise architects do some perception management but it doesn't consume them. While perception management is important, confrontation management is more important. The best enterprise architects I know are great at exerting pressure, saying no at the right times to the right things and start and win fights when necessary.

The need to be collaborative is important, but the need to be assertive is more important. To get the right price from software vendors, to build great high quality working secure software, to reject bad work, critizize a strategy and to defend those who are correct but not popular requires being assertive.

Way too many folks (especially those who call themselves leaders) will do almost anything to avoid confrontation. They may fear that expressing any displeasure as being dangerous or shameful. Nothing could be further from the truth.

What would happen if enterprise architects started to quantify to cost paid for fleeing the good fight? This would include everything from hours of correcting underling's work (rather than sending it back) to being perceived as a weak leader who tolerates mediocrity...

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