One of the most heated debates out there is that of the definition of an architect. In my view, what an architect does varies from organization to organization, and from designation to designation. Nevertheless, the most common stratafications of the architect role include an enteprise architect, a solution architect, an infrastructure architect and what I call the 'a'rchitect (aka aspring architect, dev lead, etc.). (See http://blogs.technet.com/michael_platt/archive/2005/10/07/412167.aspx for more information)
Well, the other day, one of the most interesting comments I heard was that from a senior architect who said that his directs were all of the above on any given day. He went further and said that they had tried other models and that they had found this the one to work the best. In other words, the only way for architects to really get traction in the org was to be both in the trenches with dev, up in the ivory tower with management, and in the control room with ops: depending on the day, the situation, and the need.