Today's post over at The Heart of Innovation is titled "Managers Need to Become Innovation Coaches" and offers guidance that good architects will do well to apply. While the article (and the short extract below) focuses on the role of the "manager", these principles are more aptly described as characteristics of good leadership in nearly any role - especially that of the architect.
Most managers, unfortunately, perceive new ideas as problems. [Instead] they foist their ideas on others and can't figure out why things aren't happening faster.The idea of empowerment is essential. No matter how smart and capable the architect, the true "brilliance" of a team or an organization lies in the collective mind (Leadership - The Secret Sauce). This brilliance can be tapped only through legitimate empowerment, and that means we all should ask ourselves "who has the power" in an organization, on a team, or on a project. Good things happen when the architect provides leadership - and the team provides power.
That's not how change happens. If people are only acting out somebody else's ideas, it's only a matter of time before they feel discounted, disempowered and... well...just plain dissed. People are more than hired hands; they are hired minds and hearts, as well.
If you want to empower people, honor their ideas. Give them room to challenge the status quo. Give them room to move -- and, by extension, move mountains.
Who has the power in an organization? The people who are allowed to think for themselves and then act on their ideas! Who doesn't have power? The people who have to continually check-in with others.