The single hardest thing to get a
person to do, is think.
If you can get a person to think, the next most difficult thing to get them to do is change.
Therefore, if you want people to change,
don’t ask them to think.
My father used to tell me, “You have two choices: getting someone to think, or getting someone to change. Asking for both is asking for the moon.” My father had a good bit of experience with both… he was a college professor. A good one at that.
Of course, a college professor can consider himself successful if he gets someone to think. Not so much for an Enterprise Architect. We have to be able to go either way. Sometimes, it is the job of an EA to get someone to think. Other times, it is our job to get someone to change.
Thinking is tough. If you show a business leader that a particular counter-intuitive action is a direct result of their own strategies, they will have to think about it… or just trust you. That is the advantage of being a trusted advisor. If the business leader trusts you, he can take the easy way out. He won’t have to think, because you’ve shown him that you can be trusted.
Change is tough. In many organizations, Enterprise Architecture is not well integrated into normal planning and alignment processes. You may have to ask people to perform tasks in a different order or to use a different set of inputs than they are used to. You are asking them to change.
The key here is not to also ask them to think. Plan out the steps and walk them through those steps. Show them how to do the “new” work. Help them to understand why the “new” work is more valuable than the old work through any of a dozen different techniques (reference wins, emotional appeal, hope, common values, support for shared goals). You aren’t asking them to develop the new process. That would require thinking. You are asking them to do, not think, and giving them the steps.
Thinking or changing… pick one. As an EA, know what you are asking for.