One of the great quality an architect should have, in my opinion is the habit of keeping updated with latest tools, techniques, technologies and methodologies.
But how do you learn them? Definitely it should not be through applying it on some one else’s bread and butter. i.e, you should not experiment with your customer project. You must find time to experiment and try PoC (proof of concept) at your own expense and once you feel fully comfortable then you can apply it to the real world projects. Customers are paying for what they requested for and not to improve your knowledge. If your new experiment adds value for the project then it will make the customer happy for sure.
It is important to fill an Architect’s resume with fancy buzz words to survive in the corporate battlefield. Gathering more knowledge is a challenging job and if one is able to achieve, it will obviously add feathers to the crown. Putting effort for learning new things will be always appreciated but one should give importance to branding and visibility as well. Publishing whitepapers, blogs, articles etc. are few methods for improving visiblity.