Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Guide the Energy

As I have written in my last post Less is More reducing complexity to the absolute needed minimum is key to not add unneeded clutter and blurriness. I also touched shortly on the energy created if two (or more) ideas compete for the limited attention available. In my post GLUE Disease I wrote about diseases which cause unbalanced system and that is unhealthy and potentially very risky for the whole GLUE Circulatory System.

To explain the mechanics here I use the concept of the GLUE Divisions:

  • Destination to set the target
  • Discovery to do the transition
  • Defence to protect the existing

As I have put in my post Given Up On Balance I kind of feel in balance when I give up the balance. I have not found better words for this yet, so if you have some bring them forward to allow me to learn (and find a better balance). When I find competing ideas I look closely at them. In many cases it is somehow related to (the lack of clear) ownership (a topic which I want to touch soon as well) and the derived complexity.
  • If the system tips towards defence nothing moves, the whole become rock solid or frozen like ice, which prevents any improvement or complexity reduction.
  • If the system tips towards destination the whole adds complexity (emergent complexity).
  • If the system tips towards discovery reinventions of the system occurs either without the needed input (destination) or the capability to adapt (defence). That can spawn any kind of complexity and behaves quite random (Not-Known Domain in Tom Graves' SCAN framework)
So how do I imbalance:
  • In a frozen system I try to add energy by planting several small ideas like written so great in the post of Harold Jarche about Trojan Mice. Small little ideas and changes which create a small but significant imbalance in the system potentially leading to massive tension and friction. As written in the Trojan Mice post the ideas and their result has to be watched closely and if in doubt removed, because they can grow massive and by that create severe impact.
  • In a high energy system (destination) I try to remove energy by bridging between the conflicting parties. In most cases the commonalities are larger than seen (hoped for) by the disputants. The destination conflict though is the most interesting to watch for a fairly long time to see where it goes. It can be like tectonic plates which create volcanic eruptions who are very destructive. That energy might be needed though to break up the power of defence. Furthermore it has the potential to create something truly new. Guiding this energy is one of the most important challenges for Enterprise Architecture to be successful.
  • In a system which is constantly trying to adapt without input or capabilities to adapt the mission is twofold. Creating tension and friction (to a certain degree) to find the next (volcanic) eruption which does feed the system with the needed ideas. But the key aspect is to guide the energy, bring people together, help them understand each other and translate between the (potential already engaged in tribal wars) involved. Diplomatic skills are fairly important here and being able to handle and maneuver in the Not-Known space.
As I have put in my post the Enterprise Architecture Matrix: Stop trying to solve it, but start solving it.

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