• Friday 20 January 2023
  • Presenters / Facilitators
    • Louis King, Yale
    • Dana Miller, University of Texas Arlington
    • Mary Stevens, University of Washington
  • Poll / Survey
  • Slides
    • Google Slides presentation includes detailed information about responses to the poll noted above.


    • Steering Committee Update
  • Main Topic - Growth Mindset and the Architect 
  • Itana Business
    • Connect Platform Working Group 
    • Working Group Check-Ins
    • Other?

Discussion - Growth Mindset and the Architect

Please also refer to today's slides as an accompaniment to these notes.

Louis King (Yale)

  • Louis briefly discussed the book Mindset, The New Psychology of Success, by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., 2006
  • People tend to either hold themselves back or easily give up (fixed mindset) or try new things, take risks, and open up possibilities for success (growth mindset).
  • A fixed mindset often leads to feeling “stuck” in life, work, or other endeavors.
  • Sometimes the institutions, teams, and people around us contribute to keeping us in that “stuck” place.
    • A fixed mindset isn’t necessarily something about which to make judgements of others, but rather an opportunity to think differently and try to steer discussions more toward a growth mindset.
    • Think about the people you surround yourself with, the culture of your team or organization, etc.
  • Perhaps the most important question is how can we apply growth mindset thinking to ourselves?
  • Kirk Keller (Ellucian) mentioned the idea of zero sum games (situations where there is always a winner and a loser)
    • The growth mindset doesn’t fit here, everyone can win.
    • Are you operating in a win-win or win-lose mindset?
    • Growth mindset doesn’t accept scarcity.
  • Louis’ mother always attempted to look at people for their potential and trusted that they could grow an accomplish things, even when they had obvious gaps in experience.

Dana Miller (UT Arlington)

  • Dana had a formative experience working on a fishing boat in Alaska and associated adventures at sea.
  • We often think we need credentials to accomplish something or start something new, but curiosity, openness, and willingness to take risks can also open doors.
  • Mentoring - review of survey responses
    • Not many respondents have mentors, but majority currently acting as mentors to others
    • The quality and value of mentoring relationships can vary widely depending on institutional maturity (Kirk Keller)
    • It can be valuable to push mentees into uncomfortable territory (Jim Phelps)
    • Good to encourage your mentees to seek advice from others - don’t depend solely on the mentor for everything (Jim Phelps)
    • Value in having mentors both within and outside your own organization or institution (Kelsey Lunsmann)
    • Value in participating in calls / meetings with mentors, mentees, discussing what happens and the approaches taken - how do people facilitate, present, ask questions, interact with others? (Kelsey Lunsmann and Jim Phelps)

Mary Stevens (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

  • Certifications - review of survey responses 
    • Roughly half of respondents have certifications
    • NYU has sent architects to TOGAF certification classes - not so much as a formal TOGAF shop, but to establish common language and understanding in the area of enterprise architecture (Henry Pruitt)
    • Certifications can create a solid foundation to build upon (Kelsey Lunsmann)
    • One approach is to figure out what you really want to learn and then pursue that - if a certification is a natural fit and lines up with your interests, great, but no need to pursue them as an end (Louis King)
    • If you are thinking about a certification, reach out to Itana members first - shared experiences can be very valuable and perhaps it may be possible to create a study group/cohort to pursue a particular certification or training.

  • Professional Development - review of survey responses
    • 86% of respondents felt their organizations don’t have a formal career path for architects
    • Sometimes this can be beneficial - look at people across the organization and look for traits and skills that could fit well in architecture. It’s hard to “become” a really skilled architect somewhere else and then show up ready to go at another organization. (Jeff Kennedy)
    • Chat comment - “The challenges of funding and resourcing externally-sourced professional-development-and-training are deepened for many institutions by the realities of the post-pandemic economical landscape, but the old adage remains true: "what if we train our people and they leave?" <<< "what if we _don't_ train them and they stay?" (Jeff)
    • Look for opportunities to develop your own people, this can be very valuable and empowering (Louis, Jeff, Jim)
      • Path for advancement within IT organizations and a way to help with pay increases and retention.
    • SFIA Skills Framework https://sfia-online.org/en/skills-framework-for-the-information-age
      • It can be very valuable / informative to go through this yourself
    • Don’t only think of professional development “vertically” - sometimes horizontal leaps can be very powerful for growth and expansion.
    • Roughly half of respondents spend 1-2 hours per week on professional development activities, only 14% spend more than that.
    • Most attendees of today’s call and survey respondents feel supported in terms of time for professional development
    • Team leads / managers can ensure they make this part of regular check ins with staff (Jim Phelps)
    • Ensure funds are allocated and reserved for professional development and keep track of usage in case unexpected opportunities arise (Louis King, Matt House)
    • Build into job descriptions, performance plans, budgets (various)
    • Chat comment - “My Platform Engineering team has a bi-weekly “video hour” meeting (actually two hours) where we watch talks/videos together and then discuss afterwards. This has been a great way to ensure we make time to take a break from day to day work and explore new things.” (Dave Goldhammer)

  • Architecture Career Paths
    • The majority of respondents indicated that there is no formal architecture career path in their organization.
    • This contributes to hiring challenges.

Itana Business

Further Information


Chat Activity

Apologies that a full chat transcript was not captured / exported today.

  • Jeff Kennedy (University of Auckland)
    • There are strong parallels in the growth-mindset narrative with the "above-the-line" (where you want to have fun and learn and be curious and playful) and "below-the-line" (need to be _right_, security-seeking, feeling threatened) approach from the Conscious Leadership people = https://youtu.be/fLqzYDZAqCI = a worthwhile 3:35" (folk here ask themselves, and sometimes others, "are you operating above the line right now?").
  • Miscellaneous discussion about developing, hiring, and retaining talent and the various associated challenges.
  • No labels