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Phil Simon

Good post, Julie.

Of course, you're preaching to the choir with me. I detail in Why New Systems Fail the need for consultants who can do both functional and technical work.

I'd argue that Enterprise 2.0 IT projects require the very skills that you describe here. Using a cookie cutter approach to finding employees make little sense as traditional roles blur.


Scott Brinker

Hi, Julie -- great article! Thanks for the mention of my post on the Rise of the Marketing Technologist.

These hybrid roles are powerful, and their importance and visibility seems to be growing. Expertise in a very specific discipline is valuable, but having the experience and insight to connect disciplines is perhaps more so. Increasingly, it's these "mash-ups" that are tapping into new creativity and sources of competitive advantage.

Exciting times, indeed!


Well done, Julie.

In today's business climate, hybrids are becoming more important as companies "do more with less." Those of us who have varied skill sets will certainly be in more demand in future.

Joe Stewart

You've produced a well-reasoned and thorough argument that hybrids exist and that leveraging hybrids makes good business sense. I have to admit that I've never used the word to describe people before, but I think you're on to something here :)

Ellen O'Neal

Thanks for posting, Julie.

I echo everyone else's comments, but wanted to chime in with my two cents also. Like Elmer said, companies are "doing more with less", so the more capabilities/functionality our employees can provide for the client, the better. There's a better chance we can be a "one stop shop" for our clients if we can provide all their needed solutions. If we make this a priority, the pressure's on the HR/Recruiting department! My company has found that you can only produce the best for your clients if you hire the best. In your article, I'd argue "the best" are the hybrids. Thanks for sharing!


Great piece, Julie. It's an interesting dichotomy: in what I believe is an age of specialization we have an even greater need for cross-disciplinary expertise to put the pieces together.

Lise Janody

Here's another type of hybrid: the content strategist who sits at the intersection of content development, business requirements, technology and information architecture. Content strategists get along really well with marketing technologists and business-oriented IT folks !

Elliot Ross

As mentioned above, we have entered an age of specialization. However if we look at an analogy, with the increased specialization that grew in the medical field, there is still the General Practitioner. Your GP is not the specialist but knows who is.

I think a great point raised is that senior leadership, ie CIO, must be a a hybrid. Simply put if they are not a hybrid role, further down the silo, it is not going to happen.

If leadership is not a hybrid, goals, metrics, & measures will continue to contribute to silo's as as 'hybrid' thinking or actions will be considered outside an individuals scope of work and penalized.

Scott Brinker's piece on Chief Marketing Technologist was indeed excellent, but in my opinion has one error. To borrow a term that never existed when I got into technology, but has entered our common lexicon since the Gulf War; That marketing technology leadership role should have been an embedded IT role created by the CIO. (ditto for manufacturing, supply chain, finance etc) The role being to live, breathe & understand every facet of where they are embedded, and to be able to advocate for that embedded organization, while at the same time communicate to their embedded organization what IT capabilities and enterprise architecture already exists.

My argument for that is that a completely independent 'chief marketing technology' role would by definition be creating another silo. Perhaps duplicating massive spending programs on infrastructure etc. As an example, purchasing extensive content delivery network for marketing, when learning and development already has that in place.

At the end of the day, I also agree that this 'hybrid' role is critical. This role needs to be the steward that can see above the domain specific details.

Thank you for such a wonderful piece,


Elliot Ross

Julie Hunt

Kudos! to Phil, Scott, Elmer, Joe, Ellen, Alan, Lise, and Elliot for adding their thoughts to understanding the value of hybrids and why they are important for companies. Great commentary from everyone!

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