Saturday, May 30, 2020

Enterprise Architect as a Dialog Facilitator

Organizations generally consist of varying intersecting and interacting systems to achieve the state of dynamism, continuum, and interaction.

As our digitized world becomes hyper-connected, over-complex, and interdependent, surviving and thriving in today’s business dynamic requires empathetic communication, structural flexibility, cross-functional collaboration, inter-relational process, and dynamic competency to reduce business friction and deal with conflicts or disruptions continually.

 An Enterprise Architect plays a critical role in facilitating digital dialogues on how human organizations of the future ought to be designed openly and contrived in the face of upcoming challenges and drive collective progress effortlessly.

Effective communication pattern designer: Communication is the word that means many things to many people and initiates a broad set of activities. Communication, whether verbal, non-verbal, or digital, is the coordination mechanism that makes organizations possible and makes a group of people as a cohesive team to achieve “the art of possible.” In many organizations at the low level of maturity, communications sometimes seem like an oxymoron. There are multiple causes for poor communication. Often, the communication bottleneck and the primary impediments to collaboration is a dissonance between upper and middle management and a similar dissonance between middle management and the frontline employees. But by far the problem most often is the inability of the "speaker" to adequately accept the real nature of the message or the environment. Miscommunication further causes business stagnation or culture inertia.

To harness cross-functional communication, Enterprise Architects will be mainly concerned with designing an organization by "designing" the communication patterns from which it emerges. Given this focus, they must become knowledgeable about the theories, models, and techniques from organizational communication studies in order to guide their interventions, leverage multiple communication channels and apply different communication styles to facilitate constant digital dialogues and drive meaningful changes.

Skillful digital transformation designer: Forward-looking companies across the vertical sector are on the journey of digital transformation, how can Enterprise Architects open continuous dialogues for driving digital transformation, and leading business success for the long term? The way the Enterprise Architect professionals frame their role in the context of "doing" EA will shift from that of Master Architecture/Engineering to Skillful Transformation Designer/Facilitator and coach.

Oftentimes, change is manual, as there is a command-control management style to push behavior adjustment, while digital transformation is the natural evolution as it needs to engage mindset shifts and culture re-invention. The EA as a skillful digital transformation designer must not only consider the purpose of the enterprise; the considerations of the purposes of the employees must also be met because the enterprise cannot fulfill its purpose without people. Good EA professionals will pay great attention to communication patterns in the organization, pull all necessary business resources and capital, and facilitate important conversations for leading transformational changes. Great EA professionals can guide the total enterprise ecosystem to either generate wealth for shareholders or generate prosperity of constituencies.

Sustainable business designer: Many traditional organizations are efficiency-driven, mechanical systems. Efficiency is doing things right with minimum inputs and resources. Digital organization as a socio-technical system is the order of magnitude more difficult than designing a "data-driven mechanistic system." The EA’s "raison d'ĂȘtre" will shift from designing efficient enterprise platforms to shaping self-renewing sustainable organizations. So business makes decisions with an integrated view that blends financial, environmental, and social performance, to gain holistic insight, with which to manage the risks and opportunities in the future.

In many companies, a key piece of information—information about environmental and social concerns has been missing from most business operations. EA is a sustainable enterprise designer and Information Technology can play a lead role in improving corporate sustainability performance to ensure the long-term economic success of the enterprise. The methodology and practices for sustainability management are designed to evaluate a company’s opportunities and risks throughout its extended value chain.

Organizations generally consist of varying intersecting and interacting systems to achieve the state of dynamism, continuum, and interaction. The strictly mechanical business architecture framework perhaps does not know how to address the digital business and people system dynamics. The EA as a digital dialogue facilitator can orchestrate business transformation, reconfigure the organizational structure and change their own behaviors for its adaptation to environmental changes, and reach a high level of organizational maturity with the very characteristics such as responsiveness, engagement, flexibility, innovativeness, and resilience, etc.


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