Design Thoughts

What is the metaphor behind?

When creating and using a model usually there is a metaphor behind the model guiding the user. The metaphor is not in plain sight but it is giving the boundaries, the expected behavior and the wanted state. In an article by Naomi Standford, (, a number of metaphors of organizations are listed, mechanic, organic, a brain, culture, power game, etc…

In enterprise/business architecture the metaphor of the building or city and the drawing of it with all details described has been such a strong starting point. The underlying idea of getting hold of all details and manage them. This is not a metaphor that takes us in the right direction. This metaphor gets us to busy modeling and documenting the universe not enable change.

What if we tried to find a new metaphor for enterprise/business architecture? A metaphor that resonates with the new context of faster pace, more decentralized organizations, more networks, less clear boundaries and an exploring approach to change…

I have been thinking in the terms of navigation. How can we as architects create overviews, maps that helps people in the organization, the network navigate, find their way, understand the dependencies, create possible “what if…” scenarios and give the “how might we…” a connection to what’s all ready in place, …

The navigation is about navigating the complexity of the organization and the network it interacts with as well as navigation in time, possible futures.

When navigating what is the important stable thing that gives us a landscape to navigate in?



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