Are You Passionate Enough?

by Jeff Scott, on Dec 21, 2015 3:47:26 PM

Passon.pngAlthough initiating a business architecture practice is extremely difficult, growing and sustaining one is even more challenging. Over 50% of business architecture initiatives fail, most in the first two years. What separates the almost-made-it from the highly successful sustainers? It isn’t creating better architectural models. Nor is it creating a more complete business architecture blueprint. In fact the answer has little to do with architecture skills at all and not even so much with interpersonal skills. As I work with leading business architecture practices, one thing jumps out. In almost every case the leader radiates passion. In fact passion seems to be at the core of successful business architecture teams. But not necessarily the passion you might think.

A passion for models – I run into many business architects who are passionate about modeling. In fact some are so passionate that they believe their models more accurately reflect reality than reality itself. They become so enamored with the models they often ignore the reality around them. Having passion for your tools and techniques is a great thing if you are an artist. But passion for models, more often than not, leads to failure rather than success in business architecture.

A passion for business architecture - I also run into business architects that are passionate about the practice of business architecture. They think of themselves as business architecture evangelists. Some even have that title on their business cards. To my dismay some people see me as a business architecture evangelist, but I assure you I am not. Evangelists are clearly passionate about their belief in the value of business architecture. The problem is, they want you to become a believer too. They don’t realize that delivering value creates believers. This group is only marginally more successful than the passionate modelers. 

A passion for success drives success – What I see time and time again in successful, sustaining business architecture practices is a leader (and often many leaders) who is passionate about creating a successful business architecture practice. Yes, they are excited about business architecture, models, and blueprints. But they have a real passion for creating success. It is this passion that drives them to adapt and mold business architecture theory into something that works in their context. At this point in its evolution, it is too difficult to succeed in business architecuture with technical skills alone. You need real passion for driving success.   

The bottom line:_________________________________________________________________

What am I passionate about? I like business architecture and all its components. I am excited about its ability to enable organization change. But what I am truly passionate about is creating successful business architects and business architecture organizations. What are you passionate about?


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