Anti-Collaboration and the Hungry-Hippo Secret-Society

hungry hipposTrapped inside their plastic bubble-land, committed forever to competing for access to worthless inedible coloured plastic baubles that represent to them a measure of status, members of the hungry-hippo secret-society collaborate in isolation from the world around them, waiting for their plastic environments to be exhalted as wonderful contributions to the mission, the project, the policy, the business requirements, the strategy, or whatever it is these self-professed dippy maven-muppets believe they are achieving without consultation, without reflection, and without harnessing the power and good intentions of the collective.

These hungry hippos keep personal copies of their work in secretive locations, sharing only with the annointed few and the hierachico-politically-expected ones, those whose acknowledgement and annunciation they crave, and whose places they one day long to occupy by right of gift, devotion, and secret pledge.

Other hungry hippos that work this way are simply terrified, or wanna-be perfectionists, or incompetent.

From both camps, the disruptive and mischevious enterprise architects that manage to prise away DRAFT-watermarked embargoed final copies of the hippo’s work receive these gemmy gifts with form-letter strongly-worded warnings, such as:

  • please do not distribute this document any further, not to anybody else, as it is still under discussion by the team, and if this gets out before it’s been signed off then we are going to be punished heavily, especially you!

This is patent nonsense, and exactly the opposite of what’s needed: the sooner these works are distributed and visible widely, the better is the result for the initiative at hand, for the organisation involved, and for the World.

These hungry hippos must be stopped, counselled, and taught to collaborate using wiki, coauthoring, and socially-enabled tools.  As it stands, they’re routinely and repeatedly turning out expensive substandard frog-in-a-well constrained work as finished art, too late every time to undo or avoid.

Tear down the walls of the hungry-hippo secret societies!


One thought on “Anti-Collaboration and the Hungry-Hippo Secret-Society

  1. A wonderful Albert Finney moment for me. I felt like sticking my head out the window and shouting “I’m as mad as hell….”

    I cringe whenever I hear the “align” IT to the business saw trotted out to explain the value of EA. More interesting is what leads to these two unaligned states that requires our techno-practic manipulations. A sure candidate is the secret “ta-da!!” magical black-box design approach to project you so clearly skewer here.

    So much energy is spent of the conceptual design of models, process, capabilities and so on that are intended to trace production behaviours across complex systems.

    How much simpler and more effective would be ramping up the visibility of those building, altering and extending those systems.

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