Just back from the TOGAF conference in Hong Kong, hence going through the usual joys of jet-lag and dealing-with-the-backlog. 🙁 🙂
Quick summary: seems to have been very worthwhile. More evidence of the shift towards the realisation that enterprise-architecture is about more than just IT: in fact that’s now being explicitly stated just about everywhere at the conference, though ‘the usual suspects’ are still doing not-very-much to move out of the comfort-zone of detail-level IT.
Probably the most interesting area was the formal presentation of the ‘Chinese Management Model’, apparently a government-sponsored (or at least government-promoted) model which combines some Western thinking with more traditional Chinese philosophy, drawn from Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism and more recent Chinese views (Eight Glory and Eight Disgrace). Much of this – particularly Taoism and Buddhism – aligns well with the systems-theory frameworks that we need in order to model organisational complexity, so there’s a strong synergy there. Other local presenters, such as Professor Yao Le of Beijing University, emphasised the importance of balance across multiple dimensions and domains, using the classic yin/yang metaphor, contrasted to linear Taylorist ‘scientific management’. Definitely a case of ‘Watch This Space’, it seems. 🙂
Another item of wry amusement was the difference between Western and Chinese concepts of timescale and scope. Here in the West – especially in the US/Anglo context – we struggle to get business-folks to think any further than the next financial-quarter – or at very best perhaps a five- to ten-year future – and to think of any scope wider than their immediate context. By contrast, the first slide shown by the first plenary speaker, Robert Xu of software-house Kingdee International, started by showing the Chinese view of recent economic history, summarising the whole globe, starting in 1750 – in other words a quarter-millennium, not the usual Western quarter-year! A very different sense of realism, and very refreshing.
Back to catch-up: a fair bit to post to this weblog, of which the first will be a dump of the Twitter-stream from the conference. More later, then.