Every now and then I touch the domain of interesting and relevant (e.g. Glue Governance, Enterprise Architecting Past, Future or Present, A Matter of Perspective or Don’t Panic). I want to look a bit deeper into it here, therefore as an appetizer first some definitions from merriam webster:
- holding the attention : arousing interest
- having significant and demonstrable bearing on the matter at hand
- affording evidence tending to prove or disprove the matter at issue or under discussion
- having social relevance
- proportional, relative
The focus for many people (and yes, I focus on people as mentioned more than once) is typically more on the interesting topics, mainly because they are, well, interesting. It is easy to observe in many meetings, no matter of the business relevance, where specific triggers create potentially very long sidetracks which attract the people way more than the facts given. A way to counter these sidetracks is to stick strongly and tough to an agenda and execute it. The drawback of this approach is fairly often am negative perception of the meeting. Even though the structure is valued, it is kind of anaemic and does not allow the participant to connect emotional.
And emotional connection (also a thought of Tom Graves in his blog) is one of the key aspects to stop thinking to be an Enterprise Architect, but start knowing to be one. Therefore my suggestion (and my daily action) is to invest into the interesting. And of course I do not invest into what others find interesting, but I consider to be boring. That would be even worse than sticking all the time to the agenda. But those topics I and others find interesting are worth to explore. Even though they are complete sidetracks they generate an enormous connection. That connection utilizes fairly often, because all of sudden, being connected to other people, the pure relevant facts are more easily exchanged. On top of that those sidetracks always carry quite often a relevant insight in themselves, just hidden between the lines. So my advice is: sidetrack, invest into the lengthy non relevant sidetrack, explore wherever the communication flows goes and you will find gems. Gems you will not find if you stick to the facts only.