Thursday, November 20, 2008
Enterprise Architecture and Rhetoric
Earth to business: enveloping yourself in yourself doesn't immortalize, it suffocates. If you don't understand how people fundamentally impact your business -- both inside and outside your building -- then go ahead and mummify yourself. You'll be a museum exhibit for Business Ignorance and Failures. Back behind the Egyptian treasures display.
Companies need to focus on people over process and recognize the human, coming to the realization that the Network is the People, not the hardware, stupid, a crystal-sharp prescient vision of what all this means that rises above the jargon, the cover stories, the glowing 'billionaire of the moment' interviews and the fawning rip-n-read 'reviews' that make up so much of the conversation these days. All the emphasis so far has been on the 'technology' on the 'information' without ever standing back and realizing that all these things would be pretty freakin' boring if it wasn't for the people creating and operating and transmitting and communicating over the tech.
Enterprise architecture needs to enable our business to take one giant mondo step closer to the point where the technology finally disappears into the background where it belongs and focus on the content of the conversations. We are having a knowledge crisis and the only thing that matters now is conversations. We need to wake up others to realize that knowledge doesn't exist within computer databases, sharepoint sites or the latest fad in a Gartner hype cycle.
This distorted view of knowledge and the savage but otherwise idiotic practice of perception management ignores the fact that the repeat after me sterile humorous monotone of executive rhetoric is being replaced by networked micro-cultures that exist outside the analog of time and space. In a hyperlinked world, everyone is your next door neighbor.
Wake up calls have a tendency to be ignored, except by those with some sort of urgent agenda. Some people get a wake up call they didn't put in for....they get awakened. The idea, then, should be to spread the word and see what reaction comes in. And, as that reaction is the initial step in a conversation (it isn't a conversation until it goes past a statement), the dance begins...
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