Case Study

Influencing Change Through Architecture

Friday, November 13th
14:30 – 15:00
Case Studies

Organisations are complex. They are after all made up of networks of people, each with their own hopes, fears, needs, desires and aspirations as their coalescence produces business outcomes through the transformation of its resources, of which they are a part. The architecture discipline has long been one of applying logic to articulate to leaders what state the business is in (at whatever level that may be), envision the future state, and frame the transitions that would get it there.

It is at this juncture that a deep conflict arises and it is not one that is always visible. However rational the architect’s perspective might be, we know that organisations and the people in them are not purely rational entities. The landscape of networks is always shifting. People’s actions within the organisation are a product of individual thoughts, feelings and beliefs from a position of knowledge, or lack thereof. When they are presented with change, their first instinct is to revert to current wisdom, evaluating it from that position. We know that real change is an arduous journey requiring commitment and follow-through, give and take and most importantly, partnering.

My experience has been that influencing change is a critical success factor if the architect is to deliver the ultimate value of helping the business realise the most beneficial future state. It means knowing when to push and when to pull, how to read the terrain and identify the insertion points where that influence can be made. It also means being open to learning from the people you are trying to “teach” and to know that you do not know everything, indeed no one does. I continue to learn from my environment every day.

In this talk, I will share my experiences of where I have used architecture to influence change while living in the organisation, as opposed to the external consulting perspective, and why I have chosen to do so. I will share 3 key lessons learnt that I trust will provide the community insight or, at the very least, reaffirm what you already know.