Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Leverage the Business Architecture as a Tool for Riding the Digital Transformation Tide

Business Architecture is a great tool in communicating, designing, and planning, guide the business scaling up and develop dynamic competencies.

The digital transformation is now spreading rapidly to enable organizations of all shapes and sizes to reinvent themselves. It’s important to leverage the business architecture as a navigation tool as Business Architecture contains the organizational context and is strategic in that it gives direction to the business design and transformation.

Take architecture as a way of thinking and embodying the quality of human thoughts: Real societal progress is made through the work of progressive and foreseeable minds. An architect’s mindset is abstract and critical, coherent and persuasive, has the ability to zoom in and out of the bigger picture, translate the abstract concept back into the real world example and read the "ripples on the surface of the water." An architect’s mind is also holistic and sophisticated, combining many different thought processes such as forward-thinking, creativity, integrated thinking, systems thinking, etc, with the visual abilities to “see” an idea and express it via interactive way.

A business architecture as an effective communication tool enables “mind crafting” and strategic alignment, for advising, monitoring, deliberation, sustaining a balance of diversified viewpoints, science and art, analysis and synthesis, democracy and unification; individualism and teamwork, and riding the tide of digital transformation.

Use architecture as a body of knowledge and experience in guiding and managing knowledge and change: As the digital world becomes hyperconnected, interdependent, and dynamic, the industrial silo and old boundary has been broken down. It’s no surprise that we will see more of a sharing between disciplines of philosophy, neuroscience, physics, psychology, technology, or sociology for solving complex problems and overcoming common challenges. Knowledge is no doubt important but more than that is complete awareness of what is happening in the context. Business Architecture is not just for knowledge collection, but for capturing business insight/foresight. Use architecture as a body of knowledge and experience in gaining a contextual understanding of the business, classifying the crucial elements and knowing their linkage, and guiding change systematically.

We live in the digital era with knowledge abundance. However, there are the inherent dangers of too much knowledge particularly because of the inconsistencies and incoherence in the body of knowledge that surrounds us. There is also the danger of super specialization, which can deprive people of a holistic understanding. Knowledge is neutral and can be used for good and become beautiful, or it can be used to harm others and becomes ugly. Thus, architecture could become a great tool in guiding through knowledge management, to ensure that the organization has the ability to apply the right kind of knowledge by the right people at the right time, with the right attitude comes through wisdom & diligent practices.

Apply architecture as a design tool to amplify the possibilities of human potential and collective human capability: The digital era upon us is the age of people-centricity. The reality is that the traditional organization often has an overly rigid hierarchy which enforces bureaucracy and stifles innovation. The organizational structures and relationships with and between employees were designed for a very different age. To unlock the collective human potential, Business Architecture is a great tool for enterprise leaders to orchestrate the organizational interrelationship between people and process, streamline information and idea flow, enforce business communications, foster collaboration, build trust, and ultimately lead to greater autonomy and "self-generated" engagement.

Technically, Business Architecture should have abilities to improve structural flexibility for the system to not collapse and present the business agility for adapting to the changes, building up a momentum that draws creative contributions from the participants that they did not previously conceive or understood they were capable of, building the culture of authenticity, inspiring autonomy, putting the right people with the right capability in the right position to solve right problems at the right time, and shaping a talent magnet organization.

As there is an emergence-vs-design-paradox thereon across the business complexities around the multi-faceted business competencies issues, including the full spectrum of organizational maturity levels. Business Architecture is a great tool in communicating, designing, and planning, guide the business scaling up, develop dynamic competencies, enable the organization to make a seamless transition from inside-out to outside-in, from static to dynamic; from industrial-segregation to digital modularization, and from process-driven to people-centric.


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