Creating a Dynamic Organization

August 02, 2016

Contributor: Christy Pettey

CIOs should focus on building a digital business dream team.

As the intersection of business, technology and information continues to create huge opportunities, CIOs will need to get smart about building out digital business teams with the right blend of business and technology skills. A “dream team” will help CIOs identify the right people to make digital ambitions real.

We asked Diane Morello, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner and leader of the Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo™ 2016 track “Create a Dynamic Organization," for the steps to building a digital business dream team.

Q: What is a digital business dream team?

A: A dream team is a group of people with the perfect combination of talents for a particular purpose. In this case, digital business is the purpose — the creation of new business designs that blur the physical and digital worlds to generate new revenue and new services — and the dream team is about the CIO getting as close as practically possible to the right combination of talents to fulfill that purpose.

With disruptive business models and capabilities as its aims, digital business moves beyond process improvement and incremental innovation. It enables companies to graduate from using technology for automation to exploiting technology and information as revenue builders, market makers and customer finders. Having the right team in place to do this is critical to success.

Q: Are there specific steps that CIOs should follow when building their dream teams?

A: Gartner has identified five steps for CIOs and digital business leaders to build and advance their digital business dream teams:

  • Zero in on the objectives of the digital business dream team
  • Choose the right blend of people
  • Align dream team members to four phases of digital business activity – Discover, Design, Pilot, Build-Out
  • Develop a portfolio of capabilities by activity phase
  • Blend the right behaviors to motivate the dream team

Q: While all five steps should be incorporated into building the team, is there one idea that stands out?

A: Versatility will be crucial. People who embody versatility — versatilists, as we call them —tend to be boundary-spanners and interpreters, bridging various domains of expertise and communities of interest, and often conveying, reconciling and resolving different points of view. Versatilists can walk in the shoes of others, and they have the skill, even the fluency, to speak the languages of business, information, technology and things. CIOs and digital business leaders must enlist versatilists for their dream teams — and not be stingy in doing so. Gartner expects digital business dream teams to need two or three times the number of versatilists required for business as usual.  

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