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Big Shoes to Fill

It is not easy to describe what corporate executives feel our days when they observe a modern business environment. I can compare this feeling to, for example, a feeling of a driver who used to ride somewhere in the Mid West and suddenly appeared in Boston, Mass. The car is the same, the majority of driving rules is the same, people speak the same English, but the driver feels a great deal of uncertainty - why? – Because roads have dramatically changed – became curvy and require constant steering, even on the highway; because blocks of houses are small and it takes only a couple of seconds to pass them instead of ten or more seconds in such place like Salt Lake City; because everyone wants to be ahead of you.

Yes, I am talking about dynamic changes in the business environment. Experts attribute them to globalization, extensive “informatization and digitalization” and to the attempts of different Governments to leash these changes by issuing dozens of laws and regulations all over the world. To be accurate, not all industries experience this tsunami of changes – some of them still move slowly and will move in this manner for several years ahead. Nonetheless, the trend is that more and more companies or their departments become involved into the dynamic rally.

“Well, so what?”, some practitioners would say. OK, recall an uncertainty I tried to describe before – you are a good, experienced driver, then why your experience does not give you enough confidence when roads turn sharp and suddenly to one or other hand-side? Isn’t this is because your previous experience appeares inadequate, less and less relevant? The same happens with an experience in Business Architecture and, particularly with so called ‘Best Practices’.

Actually, Business Architects have noticed some time ago that ‘your best practices may be not necessarily my best practice’. All companies are different and operate in different business execution contexts, i.e. what worked well for someone may become a nightmare to another.

Thus, we have to raise a question: if we did something yesterday and it worked well, we repeat it today and it is OK, why are we so sure that this will work tomorrow when the dynamic changes transform the economy in the way we never saw before? What is the value of our experience from the past for our future in such an environment? One wise man said, “You can't do today's jobs with yesterday's methods and be in business tomorrow”.

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