You have two minutes – how many uses can you think of for a paper clip? Now, reset your timer. How many things can you think of that have wheels? These and other tests for creativity are used by companies to try to determine how well job applicants and employees will perform when faced with activities requiring innovation and original thinking. But how much of their ability to innovate will be determined by their innate predisposition and how much by their workplace environment?
The imperative of bimodal IT is provoking renewed debate around whether the mindsets and motivations required for agile, innovative development activities result from nature or nurture. Bimodal IT is the practice of managing two separate, coherent modes of IT, one (Mode 1) focused on stability and the other (Mode 2) focused on agility. CIOs are questioning whether the same people can deliver in both modes, or whether they need to employ and cultivate two different types of personality to thrive in a bimodal IT organization. In particular, they are asking whether it is possible to transition a workforce optimized for Mode 1 activities to Mode 2 excellence.
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