Anders W. Tell Blog

Strategic Interweaving

Business Transformations through a structured integration and alignment of Strategy with Operations.
Anders is a Strategic Interweaver and Architect with international experiences on all levels, United Nation, EU, global, regional and national (standardisation) organisations, as well as national state agencies. 
JUL
24

Interweaving Enriched Design Journey

Interweaving enrich a Design Journey or Process by adding an Interweaving step to address…

“164 executives at companies with more than $1 billion in revenue, 26%, told us the transition from innovation or R&D group to the business unit “needs serious work” at their company. Another 16% described it as ‘terrible’,” [Harvard Business Review]

“A full 81% of those surveyed say that fewer than 25% of their startup pilots have resulted in commercial deals.” [Fortune]

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JUN
06

Meaningful ... What do you want? - Business Capabilities

Meaningful ... What do you want? - Business Capabilities

In the previous Meaningful … article about Business Capabilities I covered 2 meaningful topics.

Meaningful ... Business Capabilities

  • You need to know what “Innovation” is before discussing am “Innovation Management Capability”
  • The result part of a capability depends on a number of source factors.

In this article I bring to the surface the question of what kind of capability you really want to include in a capability model or map?

Do yo want to be capable of ..

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JUN
05

Meaningful ... Business Capabilities

Meaningful ... Business Capabilities

What is more meaningful to you and in work you do, with others across boundaries? A seemingly simple question. A question that deserves some thoughts.

In this short article I focus on the tool of Business Capabilities. A new idea served hot to executives and management by consultants and analysts.

Let us examine two meaningful questions:

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JUN
01

Improving Capabilities from Open Group (TOGAF Business Capabilities)

It was with great interest that I opened the Open Group’s guide for Business Capabilities. This business architecture addendum is a welcome addition to their (information) technology oriented Enterprise Architecture framework - TOGAF. TOGAF is a well known, respected, and widely used framework with quite many practitioners. 

Half-way through the guide something started to bother me. Something felt very familiar. Then I realised that the guide follows the tradition of framework presentations. A framework is explained first, then the benefits of using the it, are assumed to be obvious and clear.

This article is aimed at people interested in getting some ideas on how to enrich capability based analysis and modelling based on frameworks such as TOGAF.

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MAY
03

Tools of the trade: Talking Point Canvas

Tools of the trade: Talking Point Canvas

A Talking Point Canvas is 1-page communication tool that has talking points for communication. The canvas organise talking points in illustrations, diagrams or boxes and they fit on an A5 to A2 paper, Powerpoint page, or a web page.

The purpose is typically to organise and focus communications, discussions and deliberations on a particular topic consisting of several talking points and dimensions.

An example, a SWOT canvas has the result of an assessment with results organised in two dimensions: internal-external, and evaluative better-worse. The 4 talking points are Strength (internal, better), Weakness (internal, worse), Opportunity (external, better), Threat (external, worse).

In many cases a talking point canvas presents a synthesis where assumptions, facts, hypothesis, decisions, vantage points, background analysis, details and dependencies are omitted for clarity and focus.

However, there exist a danger when discussing talking points in separation, without taking into consideration what is behind the surface and how the different talking points relate.

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APR
19

Inside-Out, Outside-In, are there more to explore?

The question wether a company is or should be driven by Inside-Out and/or Outside-In thinking is highly relevant to ask. 

A strategic approach based on an Inside-Out vantage point is guided by that the inner strengths and capabilities of the organisation will make the organisation successful. An Outside-In approach is guided by external and environmental forces, and that customer value creation, customer orientation and customer experiences are key to success. In the post “Outside-In: Customer Experience Optimizer?”, Dr. Samir Asaf argues that High Performance Organizations need to think both from an inside-out and outside-in vantage points. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/outside-in-customer-experience-optimizer-dr-samir-asaf-cdir-fiod

However, one can ask if there are more vantage points to explore with respect to a company and its strategy? And how long it takes before you fall off a strategy canvas or strategic thinking model?

The short answers are yes and sometimes quickly.

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MAR
15

A Point-of-View needs good Stories

In the Harvard Business Review article, “How to Build a Strategic Narrative”, Mark Bonchek inspired me to share how stories are fused into the practice of Interweaving. What caught my eye was he’s recognition of the connection between a good story and a company’s strategy. 

Interweaving embrace storytelling because it is a human centric and work oriented practice. I have touched the subject earlier and here I add another piece.

The new piece of Interweaving is that documention of structured knowledge and (point-of-)views, such as a strategy, business model or safety model, are accompanied by 3 kinds of stories (work to be done, narrative, logic).

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JAN
31

Introducing Space

Introducing Space


The idea of Space occupy a centre place in building architecture and other disciplines that work with larger structures that inhabits people. While it may seem, on the surface, that building architects primarily shape physical walls and produce blueprints, they are deeply concerned with defining Spaces, and spaces between Spaces.

Spaces are not only important for buildings and ships, they are also highly relevant to organisations, communities, cyber-technical things, enterprises, theories of the firm, and other Unit-of-Interests.

The Interweaving practice and the Framework for Interweaving and Architecting (FIA) is the first practice and framework to recognise, accept, and incorporate Space as a fundamental aspect also for organisations, communities, and other artifacts. 

The idea of Space is a fundamental part of the Forms Language. Introducing the Forms Language.

In the Space - At A Glance  article the idea of Space is introduced, examplified, and charaterised. 

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JAN
17

Delivering Knowledge - Moving beyond Blueprints

Delivering Knowledge - Moving beyond Blueprints

In many peoples eyes the main focus and deliverables of architecting are blueprints, or specifications. A focus on blueprints can be found in Enterprise Architecture and Business Architecture disciplines, practices, or frameworks, where architects deliver blueprints as result of an activity. It is often recommended to store and maintain the blueprint in repository as a single source of truth.

An example from the IIBA V3 BABOK “A guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge” and the The Business Architecture Perspective chapter.  

“Business architecture models the enterprise in order to show how strategic concerns of key stakeholders are met and to support to support ongoing business transformation efforts. Business architecture provides architectural descriptions and views, referred to as blueprints, to provide a common understanding of the organization for the purpose of aligning strategic objectives with tactical demands.” … “Business architecture provides a blueprint that management can use to plan and execute strategies from both information technology (IT) and non-IT perspectives.”

However, this is only a part of what is created and maintained during Interweaving and Architecting.

The Interweaving practice and the “Work Oriented and Interweaving approach to Architecting” embrace a shift from a focus on blueprints towards production of knowledge, specifically the knowledge that is the most important to people (salient).

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JAN
10

What are we Interweaving or Architecting?

At the start of an Interweaving project, an initial frame and scope must be created, based on informed and practical reasoning, as well as on cost, time, quality, and other constraints. During a project, as more knowledge is acquired, the frame should be revisited to right-size the effort and expected benefits.

There are many ways to frame what is worked with and on. One way is to follow a dictionary definition or an organisational single source of truth. Other ways involve being informed at physical things such as building or a car, or starting from theories such as Theory of the Firm or Systems Thinking, or be compliant with legal definitions such as Enterprise or Undertaking.

In the article Introduction to What are we Interweaving or Architecting?, we have collected various types of Objects of Interweaving or Architecting.

The Work Oriented and Interweaving Approach to Architecting advocates a pragmatic approach. It uses a neutral name, Unit of Interest, to indicate what is of interest. There are several reasons for not directly using a term such as Enterprise, Business, Solution, or Building. 

  • In modern architecting, what is really interweaved or architected takes precedence over formal definitions. Boundaries have become fuzzy and are largely dependent on what clients desire. The combination of materials have a large influence on the frame of a Unit-of-Interest. Natural building materials  determine primary kind of architect, although modern houses are increasingly computerised and integrated with the Internet of Things.
  • Terms such as “Enterprise” have many senses and experts are divided on which one to use. Theoretical definitions are preferred over legal definitions despite being the most authoritative.
  • Discussions based on formal or theoretical definitions often becomes infected with hard positions being taken. Time and energy is often wasted in such debates, with a poor project climate as a consequence.
  • It is tempting to use a formal definition created by one profession or discipline. However it is wise to remember that an organisation or project consists of many different disciplines. The idea that one profession can and should establish a single source of truth is fraught with personal, legal and technical intricacies and are overcharged with political and ideological significations and misunderstandings and, even, terminological confusions.

The Interweaving and Architecting practices are human centred and work oriented approaches that aim to empower people with powerful means, means that realise worthwhile benefits and contribute to the desired state of affairs over the life cycle up to horizon. In this approach, qualities such understandable, workable, acceptable, agreeable, beneficial, and material are as important as theoretical concerns.

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DEC
13

The manifold of Hats of Architects and Interweavers

The manifold of Hats of Architects and Interweavers
  • What is the difference between a program, project manager and an Architect or Interweaver? 
  • If a business analyst and a business architect use the same techniques what is the difference?
  • A designer design, a strategist formulate strategies, a business developer develops business models, what do an Architect or Interweaver do?

The Work Oriented and Interweaving approach to Architecting embrace a human centric and evolved practice. A practice where Architects or Interweavers can be seen as wearing manifold of hats. Each hat is worn with an interweaving lens, focusing on what is salient and what weaves people together. A lens that aims at delivering benefits to people and work they do with others. The architecting and interweaving services are complementary and supplementary.

In this section we present a collection of wearable hats. The identification and organisation have been influenced by the work of Cliff Moser, who is the author of. Architecture 3.0; the Disruptive Design Practice Handbook

The hat collection help explain to customers what an Architect and Interweaver do, and their needs for architecting and interweaving services 

The hat collection is maintained at FIA.

  • Interweaver: An accommodator and helper that takes action to connect people, their work they do with others, motivation, creativity, aspirations, the possibilities of technology with the enterprise and its purpose; to make motivational, valuable, workable, acceptable, agreeable, feasible, suitable, and sustainable; to make fit, congruous, integrated, compatible, or consistent; to make agreement, in harmony, in alignment, in correspondence, or in conformance.
  • Craftsman: A practical, skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable worker, on the professional and learning path from apprentice, to journeyman, through to master. 
  • Artist and Storyteller: An imaginative storyteller that generates novelties, creative insights, and visions, through comprehensive synthesis.
  • Scientist: A performer of systematic methods, inquiry, analysis, and synthesis based on measurable evidence, aimed at acquiring or adjusting knowledge. 
  • Designer: An understander of human meaningfulness and needs that turns insight and the possibilities of technologies into innovative solutions, which are suitable, feasible, sustainable, motivational, valuable, workable, acceptable, and agreeable.
  • Problem Solver:  A thinker that uses intuition, logic, and techniques to create a solution for circumstances or situations regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with, or questions raised for consideration.
  • Manager, Leader: A director and controller of coordinated activities in programs, projects, or other endeavours. A person with a high control or influence over follower(s), and can focus their attention and allocation of effort in order to achieve missions and objectives.
  • Assistant: An aid and enabler that supplements, complements, and contributes to both work and deliverables.
  • Advisor:  A trusted suggester of practical, expert, and sound advice. A provider of information, guidance, recommendations, and answers to questions.
  • Facilitator: A helper that makes something become easier for someone else, and that stimulates discussions, ideation, group engagement, learning, shared understanding, and the making of informed decisions and actions. 
  • Analyst, Evaluator: A student of the constituent parts and their interrelationships within a whole. Sometimes, a synthesiser and a combiner of parts into new wholes. A judge of something's merits, worth, quality, or significance.
  • Interpreter, Modeller: An observer that translates observations, signs, measurements, and thoughts into documents, illustrations, or models.
  • Researcher & Developer: An explorer of new knowledge, tools, ways of working and thinking, and technologies to create new or improved capabilities, and to enable decision making and work.
  • Paraprofessional: A trained worker who is not a member of a profession but who assists a professional.
  • Empathiser, Arbitrator: An understanding and sensitive person that deals with project difficulties and problems, errors and omissions in work, and that settles differences or decide on disputes.
  • Overseer: A supervisor that watches over and directs the work of others, as part of quality management, assurance, and control.
  • Information Designer: An explainer, planner, and maintainer of information, data to a particular audience to meet specific objectives as part of knowledge and information management.
  • Enabler: A helper that provides and manages tools, guidance, methods, frameworks, systems, data repositories, services, and other means to projects and managers.
  • Methodologist: A designer, analyst, and evaluator of ways of working, work specifications, processes, manageable activities and tasks roles, and deliverables in highly coordinated, distributed, and networked projects.
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DEC
09

Creating and Maintaining Interweave and Architectural Knowledge

Creating and Maintaining Interweave and Architectural Knowledge

The interweaving and architecting knowledge is specifically usable for collaborative actions and joint work, such as facilitation, dialogue, discussion, debate, consideration, negotiation, advocacy, harmonisation, and standardisation.

The focus on salience and the interweave provides a backbone for organisational knowledge management and corporate memory. Enterprise Knowledge and Information Management can be built around and on top of these structures.

Furthermore, this focus forms an outline of an interweaving and architecting practice that is supplementary to and complementary with existing professions, such as strategists, business developer, analysts, organisational developers, and designers.

This particular kind of knowledge has a wide range of uses. Equipped with it, we can:

  • develop an intuition for how things (parts of the world) relate to and depend on each other;
  • correlate people’s perspectives, attitudes, and work;
  • observe and deal with complications and complexities;
  • share important information about our ‘togetherness’;
  • socialise to create shared mental models and contribute to the collective body of knowledge;
  • externalise knowledge into to diagrams, documents, and models;
  • answer meaningful questions in our inquiries;
  • engage in practical reasoning;
  • measure, analyse, synthesise, assess, evaluate, verify, and validate;
  • solve problems and take advantage of opportunities;
  • simulate and evaluate options;
  • analyse gaps and how the map and the world align or conform;
  • gain insights and turn them into workable. acceptable, and agreeable actions that change the world;
  • empathise with our neighbouring workers and professionals;
  • coordinate and align work across boundaries;
  • support divergent and convergent thinking;
  • create designs and specifications;
  • enrich collaborative decision making;
  • plan and prepare for joint action and change;
  • realise worthwhile benefits over the life cycle unto the horizon, that contribute to goals;
  • monitor progress and measure performance;
  • learn individually or organizationally;
  • adjust our beliefs, behaviours, and plans in the presence of new knowledge; and
  • much more.

The interweaving and architecting practices are human centred and work oriented approaches that aim to empower people with powerful means, means that realise worthwhile benefits over the life cycle up to horizon. We can easily recognise that knowledge is an essential and instrumental means. By exploring the interweaving and its different strands, we can build a collective body of knowledge, insights, and experiences that help make sense of the total picture.

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DEC
01

In Defence of Difference (updated)

In Defence of Difference (updated)

"The way Maffi tells the story, she was interviewing Tzeltal Mayan people waiting in line at a medical clinic in the village of Tenejapa when she met a man who had walked for hours, carrying his two-year-old daughter, who was suffering from diarrhea. It turned out that the man had only a dim memory of the “grasshopper leg herb” that was once well known as a perfectly effective diarrhea remedy in the Tzeltal ethnomedical pharmacopeia. Because he’d nearly forgotten the words for the herb, he’d lost almost any trace of the herb’s utility, or even of its existence.

This is when the full impact of current global trends dawned on her, Maffi recalls. It’s not just species or languages that are vanishing from the world. The world is losing knowledge, too, of the most useful and precious kinds. If the world was losing local knowledge, what else was slipping away?"

What does this mean for interweavers and architects?

First of all it suggests that spectrum of Uniformity-Diversity is something that must be considered, carefully thought of.

Secondly, this will generate a lot of questions: 

  • Should we offer standardised products? 
  • Does the people in our innovation, development teams come from the same background? 
  • To what degree should we diversify our organisation and teams? 
  • Are standardised better (best) practices something desirable? 
  • What do we do with organisational knowledge and learning? 
  • Can the organisation stand against time and chocks if analysis and decision making are made uniform?
  • Do we need to separate out general knowledge from specific knowledge to avoid depleting our languages?

The Foundational Knowledge Base consists of a number of knowledge oriented languages and catalogues. One catalogue consists of Considerations (careful thoughts) that interweavers and architects should be aware of and use. Uniformity-Diversity is a bifocal consideration, Meaning, Symbolism, Balance, Trade offs are others.

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NOV
29

Introducing the Forms Language

Forms language

The forms language is a key language that consists of ways of thinking, examples, principles and rules for how interweaving and architectural elements (material) are arranged. It can be viewed as a pattern language based on the vocabulary and characteristics of relevant and available interweaving and architectural elements (material). The forms language provides a repertoire that can be used to interpret, represent, evaluate, design, combine, and build parts of the world.

In organisations we find forms such as feedback loops, life cycles, production logic, common product platforms, organisational arrangements, PDCA loops, routines, work spaces, etc. etc. These forms can be identified and described in a forms language and its catalogues. See examples of forms at the end of the article.

An interweaved or architected artifact, enterprise, or company is largely the result of a deliberate use of a specific forms language chosen by interweavers and architects. 

A Forms language can be designed to focus on …

  • maximising inhabitants well-being, 
  • functions, 
  • use of space, 
  • contribution to overall purpose or vision, 
  • cost-cutting, operational excellence, 
  • increasing shareholder values, or 
  • the accommodation of any other set of interests chosen by interested parties, stockholders or architects. 

In many cases, a chosen forms language favour accommodation of the interests of either clients, banks and insurances companies, the society, architects or the inhabitants. Here we find significant differences in interests and desired ends. A client, developer, or owner may be motivated by market or brand appeal, costs or revenues, while inhabitants are interested in well-being, meaningful jobs, vocation, professions, rewards, or career opportunities.  

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NOV
28

"Millennials Work For Purpose, Not Paycheck"

The Forbes article about the new professionals  - the Millennials, provides an excellent motivation for the modern approach to Interweaving and Architecting - the Work Oriented approach.

Forbes Article

Work Oriented Interweaving and Architecting is designed to care for humans, people, the inhabitants of organisations. Interweaving and Architecting is performed for their benefits as well as for owners, and customers.

 

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NOV
25

Four Mistakes Companies Make in Mergers—and How to Avoid Them

These findings highlight the perils of relying to much on traditional experiences, ways of thinking and methods. As such the findings are highly relevant to Interweaving and Architecting that is an approach that focus on the fundamental, salient, important, material, essential, and enabling elements of an enterprise, which frequently constitute key elements of an M&A.

Interweaving and Architecting focus first and foremost what is salient (most important), material (what affects decision) and essentials in the situation at hand. The use of prepackaged methods and techniques are used if deemed beneficial in order to not to be complacent with what one know. 

Note: Interweaving and Architecting offers a modern, general, work oriented, and pragmatic approach to viewing and addressing an enterprise through interweaving and architecture lenses. This approach represents a step towards the many-fold of perspectives that exists in an organisation, and what they together considers as fundamental (Co-Creation). As such it differs from the sister discipline and approach of traditional Enterprise Architecture.

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NOV
23

Transformation guidance from McKinsey

Survey: How to beat the transformation odds

“After years of McKinsey research on organizational transformations,1 the results from our latest McKinsey Global Survey on the topic confirm a long-standing trend: few executives say their companies’ transformations succeed.2 Today, just 26 percent of respondents say the transformations they’re most familiar with have been very or completely successful at both improving performance and equipping the organization to sustain improvements over time. In our 2012 survey, 20 percent of executives said the same.3

But some companies have beaten the odds. We asked respondents whether their organizations follow 24 specific actions that support five stages of a transformation.4 At organizations that took a rigorous, action-oriented approach and completed their transformations (that is, all of their initiatives have been fully implemented), executives report a 79 percent success rate—three times the average for all transformations. According to the results, no single action explains the difference; in fact, the more actions an organization takes, the more likely its transformation is to succeed. Still, the results suggest that some transformation practices correlate much more closely than others with success. These practices include communicating effectively, leading actively, empowering employees, and creating an environment of continuous improvement so organizations can keep their performance from stagnating (or even regressing) once a transformation’s goals are met.5 By implementing continuous-improvement activities that enable the organization to look regularly for new and better ways to work, respondents’ organizations double their chance of successfully sustaining improvements after the transformation.”

See List with actions organised by impact: Guidance: McKinsey Transformation Actions

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NOV
21

The Secrets to Successful Interweaving and Architecture Execution

The titel is taken from the Harvard Business Review article "The Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution" and has been changed to the field of interweaving and architecting. The article is interesting since it highlights a number of analogies to the modern Work Oriented approach to interweaving and architecting of enterprises.

"Execution is the result of thousands of decisions made every day by employees acting according to the information they have and their own self-interest"

"Trait #1 - Everyone has a good idea of the decisions and actions for which he or she is responsible."

These quotes highlight the importance of decision making, and that interweavers and architects should work with material aspects of an enterprise or organisation. In FIA, the FUNdamental Criterion guide interweaves architects to whats is important to consider during interweaving and architecting.

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NOV
16

High Performance Architecting - Become a Better Learner

HBR summarise the article in their 'Management tip of the Day':

"Research has found that learning agility – the ability to grow and to use new strategies – is a good indicator of whether someone can be a high performer. Learning-agile employees are able to jettison skills and ideas that are no longer relevant and learn new ones that are. To cultivate learning agility in yourself, try:

  • Innovating. Seek out new solutions. Repeatedly ask yourself “What else?” and “What are more ways I could approach this?”
  • Performing. When faced with complex situations, look for similarities to your past projects. Practice calming techniques, and listen instead of simply reacting.
  • Reflecting. Seek out input from others. Ask colleagues what you could have done better.
  • Risking. Look for “stretch assignments” where success isn’t a given.
  • Avoid defending. Acknowledge your failures and capture the lessons you’ve learned."

A few examples where learning come into play in FIA.

  • Innovating: generating, exploring, and screening scenarios, alternatives are key activities of the Bare Bones Architecting Inquiry Process.
  • Performing: looking at the past (the past-scenario) is a part of the general scenario map and recommended to address . Thinking about analogies, similarities is a key activity of BBAIP. Listening is a key green collaborative attitude, practice of BBAIP.
  • Reflecting: another key reasoning pattern explicitly encouraged and practiced in BBAIP.
  • Risking: thinking outside the box, stretching is an explicit part of, reasoning pattern in, BBAIP, in its Explore, Develop and Assess step.
  • Avoid defending: in the Motivate and Define step of BBAIP, shared intentions and rules of engagement are established for the architecting effort, including preferable collaborative attitudes and practices such defending. Lessons learned is an explicit part of the Communicate & Learn step of BBAIP.

 

All in all - Work Oriented Architecting is well equipped to perform.

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NOV
14

Choosing fundamental elements - Organisation Design

Naomi Stanford discuss, in the The Economist publication "Guide to Organisation Design - Creating high-performing and adaptable enterprise, 2nd edition", one aspect of organisation design that is essential - Organisation Structure. In Table 1.1 Naomi suggest that an organisation chart provides only some fundamental information needed by a professional organisational designer.

From an Interweaving Architecting point of view it is important to ensure that professional practitioners are allowed to use effective mental models, work products, tools, etc. that are needed for their work. An important question to address is if an interweaving or architecture framework support people in their profession?

The following table summarise Naomis's aspects:

What does the organisation chart tell you?

What doesn't the organisation chart tell you?

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