Innovating strategic management and business design through Interweaving
What would happen if we use Design Thinking to Reimagine the traditions of Enterprise Architecture (EA)?
Where would we end up? What are the problems to solve? Are they the same as the EA tradition prescribes? Are there other problems that need solving? Is the solution the same?
In a series of “What if we …” design steps I intend to illustrate the power of interweaved Design Thinking (iDT) on the initial challenge - Why does the tradition of EA have so much problems outside the application on IS/IT?
The focus of the series is Ideation.
I have just come back from presenting two novel techniques from the Interweaving and Concept Development practices at the VMBO 2019 research conference.
These techniques enrich the value of information products, canvases, diagrams, and models.
In a later post Ill share the techniques and why they are important. But here is a teaser.
...that is lean and mean as opposed to rigid and comprehensive, open as opposed to closed and predefined …
and meet the modern needs and insights of agility, experimentation, fail forward, build-learn-measure, growth hacking, design, open questions and learning, critical thinking, …
- modern knowledge workers,
- digital transformations,
- investors and aspiring startups,
- large companies,
- strategy execution,
- organisational and technical integration,
- Industry 4.0,
- innovation journeys,
- and much more.
The Concept Development practice plays an important role by grounding and anchoring people, knowledge, and discussions.
The grounding and anchoring are critical for describing, thinking and working with strategies, business and operational models and other kinds of knowledge.
Take the example of describing a Need, something when dysfunctional would cause a negative outcome.
Before one can describe a 'Need’ then one must first be clear on what is needed. It is rather meaningless to talk about a ‘need for a football’ if one does not know what a football is.
The same applies in many cases, one must know what “Marketing Management” is before one can discuss a “Marketing Management Capability”.
The Concept Development practice delivers knowledge that can ground and anchor many kinds of entities.
Key deliverables of the Concept Development practice are situated knowledge and learning.
This knowledge comes in many forms, not only as as powerpoints, models, or documents. The knowledge is anchored and situated in peoples daily work, their interests, questions, decisions, actions and other information needs, to be relevant and useful.
All forms of knowledge are important to create and harvest.
The Concept Development and Interweaving practices can be used in varied circumstances.
These circumstances are characterised by many people, many ideas and intentions, many work practices, many perspectives, complications, VUCA, variations, interconnections, etc. That is, where there is a need to weave people and things together over time, place and boundaries.
The aim of both the Concept Development and Interweaving practices is to use art, craft, and science to unlock, realise and optimise the value of Togetherness. This makes them a good choice for empowering journey’s and efforts. Here are a few examples.
Introducing the Concept Development practice, featuring Interweaving - a missing ingredient in digital transformation efforts.
Digital transformation, agile projects, and strategy execution are all complicated and risky.
The Concept Development and Interweaving practices provide a much needed help that interconnects people, work and things, in order to boost asset utilization, and release business results and values.
The practices …
Maestro Henry Mintzberg provides an example of Boxology in the “Manageable and Unmanageable Managing” article.
Boxology is ideas, ways and principles that frame the idea of the Box. A Box represent an important Mockafjong, which is a beautiful thingymajig. It is something wondrous, fascinating and important to talk about.
Boxology was created as a result from ironical and empirical research. It is often used and considered as important in practices such as, management, business analysis, business architecture, and enterprise architecture. There, colorful boxes appear in powerpoint presentations, analysis, and diagrams to capture the audiences interests.
We all know the learning models of double-loop learning and 4-aces. However, they are not sufficient to address learning and transformation in the age of information and the digital.
What’s missing? The missing part is what many startups are address, the effects of how uncertainty and not knowing what is right. Lean startups embarc on learning journeys in order to know what is right.
The Do-Right Learning Model adds an extra loop - Knowing what is Right, to complete the picture. The Do-Right Learning Model can also be called Tripple Plus learning.
The idea of capability has become a frequent talking point. However …
…the definitions of the idea of capability range from being equal to the concept of process to be loosely defined as a collection of resources or a component aimed at realising some outcome or purpose. Capability is an old general concept and there are uncountable kinds of capabilities, but only a few kinds interest people in analysis, design, or evaluation work. The proliferation of definitions and usages show few signs of slowing down. The differences in perception and use in and across peoples work may hamper the utility of using the concept of capability in an organisation.
If you wonder …
- if the capability or capability kind a just a Word, made out of Lead, or a newly discovered elementary particle located just beside Gold in the Periodic table?
- if the capability map is a Word Cloud or something relevant and useful to people and their Work-to-be-done?
… then Capability Test provides a way for practitioners to evaluate the value of capabilities. It is a neutral test, which can be applied to an actual capability, kind of capability, or a map of capabilities. It is neutral since it does not favor any particular kind or definition of capability.
Digital transformation journey's can and are described by a manifold of stories. A digital Transformation is not only …
… strategy (aspiration, plan) but also digital technologies (enabler)
… operations (stability) but also innovation and transformation(change)
… the organisation (inside) but also the environment (outside)
… doing but also values
Each story adds a piece but what happens when you put them all together? What story is that?
#DigitalTransformation journey's are described by a manifold of stories.
Each story adds a piece but what happens when you put them all together? What story is that?
For some, …
- digital enablers such as sensors, mobile devices, and new material is the most important story.
- the socio-economic evolution in the information age pulls us all into the future.
- digitisation of existing processes is vital.
- people's digital talents are at the center.
- management and entrepreneurial mind-sets drive the lean and digital organisation.
- IS/IT is necessary and in focus.
- new business models, identity and vision direct you to where-to-play.
- innovation and agility save you from disruption,
- transformation of the workforce and organisation is the way to the future.
- partnering and renting your resources paves the way to become an exponential organisation.
- customer orientation is obvious.
- knowing what you know and don’t know, lead you to traverse build-measure-learn cycle fast.
- trend awareness and strategy lead the way.
No single story tells it all.
#Interweaving is interested in how all these stories Interweave.
The book “The NEO-Generalist” is a fascinating read, with a surprising connection to Interweaving. It turns out that neo-generalists would make excellent Interweavers with their mind-sets.
A few example quotes from the book “The NEO-Generalist”, by Kenneth Mikkelsen, Richard Martin, 2016, to illustrates the point.
“A neo-generalist is a serial specialist that traverse the space in-between the polarities.”
The series is for you that use capability based methods, and not for method or framework builders.
An important question for any method or artifact is, how do you define success? This is especially important in this case where knowledge about the capability secret is likely to change the perception of what a capability is and what a capability can and should be used for.
A Mockafjong is a beautiful thingymajig. It is something wondrous, fascinating and important to talk about.
When you find yourself in discussions where you wonder what you really are talking about. Try to replace the key “word” used to refer to the centre of the discussion with “Mockafjong”. Try replacing “digital transformation” or “capability” with “Mockafjong”.
Suddenly you all have to be careful about you say. You have to explain better without relying on peoples underlying and often widely different common sense. You become released from your languages biases.
What do you mean by “Mockafjong”? I, erm, hmm, mean …
It was a fun idea to write this article a couple of years ago. But, then the realities of the thought started to become problematic. After a while the reported EA problems with generating business outcomes became tedious to listen to and trying react to. So I decided to move on, with a new product development and a Pivot, the Interweaving practice. But, here is a short version of the article.
The Zachman Framework (now called Zachman Enterprise Ontology) is part of the enterprise architecture (EA) inheritage. It was invented and now maintained by John Zachman.
If you get some time over you should, from time to time, stop and reflect on the material / artifacts you use in your work. Reflection is especially valuable on material / artifacts that experts, consultants and other service providers provide you with.
Here is a simple quiz to guide your reflection:
Something interesting happened when I shared the capability secret with colleagues, professionals, and researchers. A “yes…, but …” dialog appeared.
This kind of dialog and reactions, can important for you to be aware of when something new and simple is introduced and discussed. Especially if you use ideas and methods provided by others, such as experts and consultants.
The series is for you that use capability models, and not for method or framework builders.