Monday, 20 August 2012

Confidence v Competence!

I found this article on the Telegraph on line the other day; it basically says that people with unabashed self confidence get on better in corporate organisations whether or not they are any good at what they do.

This highlights some real issues for cultural design of a business architecture; if you have egos pulling your progress to a desired future all over the place then it is a significant challenge.

Over confidence of individuals results in hubris driven error and the self belief can over throw common sense and perhaps even integrity. When as a trainer you preach self reflection and personal challenge this must be perhaps even unknowingly difficult for the career driven over confident candidates that power on without thought.

Conversely driven people do create success, if we had a culture of self doubters and risk adverse people always considering what might go wrong then maybe little would get done?

Managing risk in such environments is a difficult demand. Are certain industries more bound up with this issue than others - banking perhaps?

The real challenge here is to create a healthy tension and balance between managed ego and self awareness - difficult stuff particularly when you hear of some of the egonostic behaviours that some people have to put up with on a daily basis.

Interesting stuff. Have a read and see what you think.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Which One of Kipling's Friends is the most important to the business architect?

Which One of Kipling's Friends is the most important to the business architect? This question was asked of me the other day by a delegate on a training course.

"I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who."

After some thought I concluded that "WHY" was the answer.

On the basis that if a business architecture doesn't have a motivation to its construction it therefore doesn't have a linkage to its strategy. An architecture with no strategy is an architecture to nowhere.

Linkage from strategy in a traceable and obvious pathway from strategy through a business architecture an onwards through to a route map is key. Business architecture is part of the change process, a flow or a cycle, not an independent thing. In fact linkage in both the directions is frequently missing in many presented business architectures. Linkage is key. All target operating models should demonstrate good linkage.

Purists may say "but an architecture is just how bits of the business join together"; but in my view how an architecture that is driven by motivation the why and then also how it will be deployed via the implementation road or route  map is the job of a good business architect. The business architect may well have to work in partnership with strategy or implementation people but he or she should influence the whole story.

Let us also not forget that these questions represent the definition of the columns in the well known "Zachman Framework".

Monday, 6 August 2012

Is collecting tax a service?

I received a link to survey monkey via Southern Entrepreneurs this week whereby Winchester City Council were asking for feed back on services to business. One of the services they claimed was the collection of business rates.

I thought this was a little bizarre, surely a service has to deliver value to the receiver of the service and collection of a tax hardly qualifies as adding value. Are they scratching around for services to claim; is this naivety or a simple case of not thinking things through?