December 18, 2007

Power of Persuasion and Enterprise Architecture

In Fortune Magazine, 12 November 2007, Retired General Wesley Clark explains “Leadership is the art of persuading the other fellow to want to do what you want him to do.”

Wesley K. Clark, Former Supreme Commander of NATO, explains that effective execution of power, includes the following:

Key lesson #1:

In business, it is important to motivate through the power of shared goals, shared objectives, and shared standards.”

Clark goes on to explain that there are three ways to persuade others:

  • Education—“Employee education is one of the most cost-effective investments that businesses can make.”
  • Participation—“Employees need to become vested in their work through participation.”
  • Co-option—“Building and maintaining the emotional bonds of teamwork, loyalty, and trust.”

Key lesson #2:

”Essentially leaders have to sell themselves and their programs to their teams, in order to influence.”

Leadership, influence, persuasion, building shared community—these are all necessary skills to developing and maintaining an effective User-centric EA program. Architecture isn’t done in a vacuum or an ivory tower, it’s a grass roots effort that takes leadership skills to motivate others through the development of shared goals and objectives—such as, business-technology alignment, information sharing and accessibility, systems interoperability and component re-use, technology standardization and simplification, and information confidentiality, integrity, availability, and privacy.

We get to these EA goals, through educating others, engaging with them, and building a shared vision and sense of team, and “not by calling in the air-force.” as Wesley Clark would say.


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