A recent posting by Ron Segal on the LinkedIn discussion group for business architecture raised a specific question that strikes to the heart of what I think I have been trying to say for years. Here is my posting in respoonse, which I thought I'd record here for future reference:
If anyone really wants to use the term "business architecture", let's consider that anpther kind of architecture that is closer in practice than building architecture is landscape architecture. A business. like a landscape is made up of living entities that are parts of multiple, intersecting ecosystems. When people intervene to "architect" the landscape there is planned building of various structures. But if those structures are not primarily focused on fostering good conditions for the flora. the architecture will not be deemed fit for purpose.
I say this is a simille because I'm just saying business architecture may be like landscape architecture, in the sense of having similarities. I'm not proposing that this notion should be the primary way of understanding and discussing architectures of business, but I am saying that Golden Gate Park is more similar to a business enterprise than the Golden Gate Bridge.
The current paradigm will stipulate that growth is good and necessary. At least that has been the buzz in my neck of the woods for as long as I can remember. Even thoughts like "Limits to Growth" start from the assumption that growth is good, and it will be too bad to have to limit it.
Maybe that's the wrong meme. What if we adopt a meme such as "intensification"? Not so much "more, more, more" but rather "deeper, deeper, deeper".
This thought is underpinned or undermined by which of several concepts of wealth is held in mind. My money supplies and streams are not experiencing a lot of growth, but I have a deeper relationship with dogs (just as an example).
David Brooks, the columnist for the New York Times, has a column on "protocols", and the nature of an economy built on protocols rather than products. This is a spin on the information economy, as discussed by Hal Varian and others. It makes the point that protocols are more and more pervasive, in the form of computer programs that manage aspects of business, to the procedures followed to have a franchise operation conform to the parent standards.
This post is inspired by some interactions I’ve been having with the enterprise architect community, primarily at this LinkedIn group . There are ongoing debates about how to define what it is that enterprise architects do, what the purpose of enterprise architecture is, and how to explain it to decision-makers.
I've been engaging recently in a renewed conversation with the members of Metaphorum, a loose-knit confederation of thinkers who generally follow and preserve the work of Stafford Beer, one of the pioneers of cybernetics, systems thinking, and the application to business.
That title denotes something that I always do. Wherever I go, for instance the VSM thought framework is like an tool on a heads-up display for me -- always available as a device to peer through at each new interesting social organization that I stumble upon.
When we say bailout these days, I wonder what image people have in their minds. I can think of two.
Over the weekend i had an experience that made me think about longevity of organizations. I attended a parade and ceremony to mark the 199th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America.
There are people who think building an enterprise is JUST LIKE building a house or aircraft. This is false. This is misleading in a profound and pernicious way. I won't name names, because this seems to be the dominant view in some quarters.