Tuesday, January 14, 2014

An Architect’s Mindset

An Architect’s mind can discover solutions to complex problems via analyzing/synthesizing / formalizing / systematizing / harmonizing.

An architect’s mindset is not privileged for Enterprise Architects only, it’s the modern leadership mindset which is both good at analytics and synthesis; abstraction and visualization; imagination and practicality. As Enterprise Architecture discipline not only embraces models, methods and theories of management and control; it also uses the same from systems engineering, linguistics, cognitive science, environmental science, biology, social science and artificial intelligence. Therefore, all ultra-modern leaders need to cultivate such mindset for better communication and make multi-dimensional influences.

An Abstract Thinker with Imagination: An architect’s mindset is full of good imagination, with capability to imagine Enterprise and turn certain stakeholder viewpoints into views and then take it forward to reality. An architect’s mindset has capability of abstract or contemplative thinking, strong pattern-finding capability in order to design an effective Enterprise Architecture, which is a “Structure of its data and processes (both computerized and non-computerized) across the enterprise and within various silos providing an enterprise wide view of various relationships. Enterprise view further enables a framework for refining and optimizing processes and data interactions and interpreting change in business capabilities at various levels of an enterprise influenced and informed by enterprise goals and objectives.” 

Visual Communicator: An architect’s mindset can also translate the abstract concept back into the real world example, thus, it also has the ‘visual’ ability to “see” an idea and express it in visual terms via interactive way. In addition, you need to have the ability to analyze problems and mentally iterate through possible solutions to find the best fit. As an architect, you need to take viewpoints of stakeholders and convert that into views and then enable design of those views as per real world requirements. An Architect’s mind can discover (analyze/synthesize / formalize / systematize / harmonize) solutions from different enterprise related disciplines to be able to solve the complex and complicated enterprise problems. 

Empathic Persuader: An architect’s mindset has the ability to zoom in and out of the bigger picture. Architects build bridges between strategy and implementation by communicating to the groups responsible for these two widely different activities and giving clarity to both. Therefore, an Enterprise Architect has to be in touch with the business forces via listening, questioning, connecting, and coaching, with the capability to know when to bend and when to make a firm stand. An architect’s mindset is coherent and persuasive, has the ability to reading the "ripples on the surface of the water", aware of corporate politics and cultural pressure points; identifies tradeoffs and negotiates them with all stakeholder to collaborate skillfully with empathy.

Imagination, abstraction, creativity and coherence, etc, are some inherent cognitive and mental elements of architect-wise thinking. It is a type of leadership mindset to focus on long term perspective with outside of the box mentality.


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