A good architect will engage in a thinking process that generates creative synergies, brilliant shortcuts and identifies the serious issues well ahead of time. This process also produces spurious ideas and seemingly irrelevant issues. You can't have one without the other.
Most people have to resort to special thinking techniques to think laterally, it doesn't come naturally. An architect understands the broad context, an architect sees connections, an architect has a quick brain that will automatically explore the connections and context. An architect sees the bigger picture.
This attribute means that an architect will find routes to a solution that other will not. The architect will also find interesting sidetracks that may be time-consuming distractions or effective shortcuts. Sometimes an architect will find a route particularly interesting and forget the destimation.
The problem for an architecture manager in this situation is not how to generate creativity but how to harness it. There are some simple disciplines that need to be taught:
- Periodically remind yourself of the business goals
- Periodically ask yourself if you are off track
- In front of stakeholders, engage brain then open mouth