For any transformation to occur it is important to first recognize there is a problem. Without this critical first step, change cannot occur, bad behaviors persist, and relationships with others deteriorate. This post is about my longtime friend enterprise architecture (friends call him EA) and his journey.
EA has been suffering from a raft of dysfunctional behaviors for years. Ever since the launch of Burton Group’s IT1 coverage, I have been speaking publicly about these problems in the hope that EA would wake up and see how he was stumbling through life and had lost his direction. I discussed how his silo thinking had disconnected him from getting things done. I expressed concern that his inability to work well with others and his “my way or the highway” attitude was just alienating his friends. Yet he continued to focus on trying to control others, stay in his tower, and became even more isolated surrounding himself with technology.
A while ago I met with EA, he was wearing his characteristic ivory colored robe. He began mumbling incessantly, repeating over and over “standards, guidelines, enforcement, framework…”, he went on and on. I knew he had reached bottom. The press knew it too; this famous photo showed his decline for all to see when he fell into a trough.
Publicists suggested that he just change his name to BA (business architecture) to preserve his reputation. However, when you are in a trough, a name change is not enough. Real transformation requires doing something different, and it all starts by recognizing there is a problem. Once you recognize that there is a problem, you are then open to other possibilities — other ways of living that are more fulfilling, more connected, and more relevant.
Last week there was a lot of discussion about EA’s problems. Many joined the discussion “Why is EA dying“. I am happy to read this and other similar discussions because I think it signals that my longtime friend EA is finally entering rehab.
EA’s checkered past does not need to define him. He can emerge from this low and become even more relevant than before. By recognizing there is a problem, EA can be different, however like the caterpillar becoming a butterfly, EA must transform into something radically different than before.
Good luck EA! I am happy to lend a hand in your transformation.