I am a corporate facilitator, coach, mentor and public speaker with over 35 years of experience in IT and business. From AI and ML research in the mid-1980’s via Enterprise Architecture and Portfolio Management in the 1990’s to Change Management, Soft Skills for IT-professionals, Leadership Development and Organisational Culture, my focus has always been on the human side of technology and business. My goal was to help people achieve more, suffer less, and have better work and life-experiences using technology, creative design and human-centric approaches to business development. I have been a software developer, knowledge engineer, enterprise architect, CTO, CTO, coach and facilitator for small and large organisations in a wide range of industries and the public sector. The past 9 years I was an Executive Partner and Research Vice President for Gartner, focusing on leadership, team dynamics and cultural change. In 2018 I went back to running Transgrowth again, the coaching and facilitation company my late wife Michal and I founded in 2001. I have just published my first book under my own name (A String of Pearls, available on Amazon) and intend to write several more. My goal for the coming years is helping leaders, teams and organisations reconnect their passion and sense of purpose with the work they do to help them achieve more and enjoy doing so.
Why am I involved with Architectural Thinking?
I had the incredible good fortune to start my career working for an exceptional company called BSO in The Netherlands. They believed that if you hire smart, capable and most of all enthusiastic people, you don’t need to manage them to get them to do great work. BSO was incredibly successful and the best work-experience I ever had. This was an organisation based on trust and passion, ownership, initiative and freedom that was successful, inspiring and supportive for employees and customers alike. For the rest of my career I have been looking for ways to bring to other organisations some of that ‘magic’ that made BSO such an exceptional company.
I found the discipline of Enterprise Architecture through System Thinking and Organisational Change Management. For me, the whole purpose of EA is to help people design and operate better organisations, where ‘better’ for me means better for people, society, and the environment. I hoped at the time that EA would be the discipline that could bring together the thinking, frameworks, models and tools that leaders could tap into to break out of the usual, in my view outdated, mechanistic, hierarchical, siloed ways of organising business and services. So far, the discipline has not lived up to its promise, as it got mired down into an IT-centric, dogmatic and rigid interpretation of what EA should be. In a sense, the more EA matured, the more the ‘thinking’ leached out of it, to be replaced by check-lists and rote-learning. What was lost is the art of architecture: the creative synthesis of many different desires, needs and constraints into a living, growing and evolving environment for people to thrive in.
In the Architectural Thinking Association I see a group of people that share a lot of what I am passionate about. Together, they bring together the depth and breadth of experience that can bring about a revolution in the way we think about architecture and its role in the future of work and how we organise ourselves. I hope that by bringing into this group my life-long research into the mechanism humans use to collaborate and thrive together, I can help them be even more human-centric and human-conscious. But most of all, I hope to learn from everybody involved how to create the kind of sustainable and sustaining organisations we need to create a better future for everyone.
Some of the Things That I’ve Done
- Over 35 years working with organisations world-wide on the human-side of technology, change and organisation.
- Co-authored one of the first EA handbooks in Europe, for the PICASSO methodology developed inside BSO.
- Collaborated on an early version of the EA modelling language that later grew into Archimate.
- Co-created “The Enterprise Architecture” board game, a playful way to teach executives the benefits of thinking like an architect.
- Public speaker at conferences, summits and symposia on topics such as EQ for Architects, High-Performing Teams and Organisational Culture.
- Symposium Research Chair for the Gartner Symposium in Australia in 2017.
- Author of over a hundred research notes and presentations for Gartner between 2009 and 2018.
- Author of the book “A String of Pearls: Creating a better future from the stories of your past”.
More About Me
You can learn more about me at my LinkedIn page or follow me on Twitter. I am also a member of The Analyst Syndicate, where I publish the occasional blog. My website is Transgrowth International Pty Ltd.