Gartner Research

The Armed and Potent Digital Leader: How to Become a Digital Dragon

Published: 26 May 2017

ID: G00326381

Analyst(s): Jenny Beresford, Bard Papegaaij


As a digital leader, the CIO embarks for unknown territory and must be armed with powerful adaptive capabilities. These capabilities can harness disruptive technologies and concepts to pre-empt, surprise, outpace or outmaneuver rivals, creating a competitive edge for the 21st-century enterprise.

Table Of Contents
  • Key Challenges
  • Key Recommendations



  • Be a Bold Dragon by Flexing and Stretching Risk Appetite, and Being Ready to Initiate, Avoid or Deflect Improbable Scenarios
    • Repeat, but Also Distort Practices That Have a Positive Outcome
    • Regularly Challenge Internal Norms to Exercise Adaptability
    • Reflect on Improbable Scenarios to Unlock New Ways of Solving Problems
  • Inject Diversity by Building a Talent Portfolio of Regular and Irregular Competencies
    • Seek Out Unlikely Winners to Redefine What Success Might Look Like
    • Adapt the Job to the Talent, Not the Talent to the Job, to Let Them Do What They Do Best
    • Form Extremely Diverse Teams With Different Cognitive Styles to Yield More Ideas and Options
  • Create a "Digital Dragon Incubator" to Seed Highly Curious, Inventive, Entrepreneurial and Situationally Aware Leaders
    • Provoke and Stretch Your Talent in a "Digital Incubator" to Fast-Track Desirable Traits
    • Use Digital Innovation on Yourself and Your Environment to Test, Influence and Monitor Behaviors
    • Build a Community, the Culture Will Look After Itself

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