Winter 2018 Strategic IT Partner Forum – Exploring Cross-Silo Responsibilities and Priorities


On Thursday 22nd of November 2018 the seventh Strategic IT Partner forum (previously known as the IT BRM/IT BP forum) took place near Heathrow.  In my opinion the content of the day was our best yet and offered those in the IT Partnering community an opportunity to network and attend various talks, including:

  • Liam Hogan – The role of Strategic IT Partners in Digital Transformation
  • Ian Golding –  A CIO’s Perspective on Delivering the Technology Vision
  • Matt Ballantine – Cross Silo Responsibilities and Developing the Agile Mindset
  • Luke Radford and Zach Arundel – Innovation Case Study
  • Deborah Meredith and Richard Coldwell – Relationship Maturity Model Case Study
  • James O’Driscoll – The Partner Recruitment Challenge
  • Jon Baxter – Demonstrating Value and Managing Expectations

Further details of all presentations and videos of the day can be found here – You’ll need to be a member of our online community to have access and please ensure you are logged into your account before clinking on the link.

If you are not a member of our online community yet, you’re more welcome to join an event.  To register online click here –

We’re aiming to have a full summary of the forum by the beginning of 2019.  In the meantime I wanted to share my thoughts on Matt Ballantine’s ( presentation “Exploring Cross-Silo Responsibilities and Priorities” where he led a thought provoking and interactive session on understanding the priorities and responsibilities of the CxO.

My key takeaways from the session were as follows:

  1. Tinkering is a good thing. We work to live, not live to work.  There is no reason why tinkering and play should not be part of our daily working life.  In fact, tinkering leads to greater innovation, something all organisations strive for, so should be encouraged.  You don’t have to be a Calvinist.
  2. What’s the point of this meeting? Remember a full diary does not necessarily mean you’re generating value; it just means you have lots of meetings.  If it has to be a meeting, make it more playful to allow greater innovation.  Use visual prompts such as artefact cards ( and CxO priority cards ( ) to open up conversations.
  3. It’s good to talk. Business functions don’t generally talk to each other and this is a big problem.  It is crucial to break down these silos and as this doesn’t happen in most organisations, why shouldn’t this be facilitated by Strategic IT Partners?   Think about the service(s) you provide and consider if you are engaging with other business partners (HR, finance, marketing etc.).  If you are not, start facilitating the process of working more collaboratively.  We’re all undertaking similar roles (remember the Ulrigh model) and by working together as one partnering department, we can all become more effective.
  4. Embrace your imposter syndrome. We can get away with more than we think.  Have the confidence to make up the rules as we go along (as long as it’s not in an objectiveless way).  Become the facilitator for change and break down silos.   Use visual aids to generate new ideas.
  5. Lego.  Just Lego.

 Organisations are demanding greater innovation but want to keep on working in IKEA mode.  Whilst we, as Strategic IT Partners, cannot change everything on our own, we can be the facilitators of change.  By taking the first steps to encourage a closer working relationship with our business partner colleagues, to question the point of “that” meeting and to introduce more tinkering, will at the very least start the process of becoming a more collaborative and creative organisation.

Your thoughts and comments are, as always, very welcome.

James O’Driscoll BRMP®

Director – Gilbert Scott Associates