Students working on a project --- Image by © Laura Doss/CorbisWhen integrating business and mobile technology, the best solutions—even when designed and implemented perfectly—are prone to face challenges at some point. Mobile, by its nature, is bound to fail or be misunderstood by some of its users (like any other technology). Identifying the right talent with the right background is critical to a mobile team’s success.

It goes without saying that subject matter expertise is required, whether we’re talking about technical skills with design and development roles, or business knowledge with less technical roles. However, when we think of talent for mobile teams that will breed success, we need to take a holistic view and consider competences that can impact the end-to-end mobile user experience that aren’t strictly technical or business related. In addition to soft skills, such as critical thinking or communication, we must also seek mobile passion, curiosity, and empathy.

For our mobile teams, we should look for these three key skills—or instill them if necessary.

Mobile Passion Breeds Success

When I think of mobile passion, the first thing that comes to my mind is leading—regardless of one’s role, responsibility, and title. It starts with mobile thinking, which sets an example of advocating for mobile technology.

However, more than anything, a mobile passion requires tenacity to drive forward despite the challenges we face or the resources available to us in a mobile project or engagement. There are best practices that we can follow. But in many cases, we may be forced to solve unique business problems that can’t be addressed using standard templates. Our passion and dedication will be the key differentiator.

Mobile Curiosity Drives Innovation

To me, mobile curiosity is a never-ending ambition to express human ingenuity with mobile technology. It drives innovation through anticipation of new ideas that can lead to mobile solutions that address unmet needs.

Mobile curiosity begins by thinking outside the mobile device. It means thinking about mobile value first. We need to put a strong emphasis on how our mobile products or solutions can help drive growth and profitability. And not just for our customers, but for our customers’ customers. That’s how we drive innovation.

To realize the true value of mobile, we must recognize that integrated solutions—where each part completes the mobile user experience as a whole—are a must. Mobile curiosity ignites solutions with unique insights and unique experiences, not just the delivery of data or hollow apps.

Mobile Empathy Brings Customer Focus

Last but not least is mobile empathy. I often refer to it as the “empathy principle” in design thinking, a practice that involves opening up our nerve endings, so to speak, and increasing our awareness, so we can feel what the mobile journey looks like from our users’ perspective.

However, we can’t do that from behind a desk. Getting closer to mobile users is the only way. We need to be right in the trenches, working side by side with them in the same environment and under the same conditions. I see mobile empathy as a prerequisite for customer-centric mobile products and solutions. It demands that our customer (our users) become the focal point of our design and execution.

Bottom Line

Look for these three skills first, because they will be your mobile team’s guiding light when best practices alone may not be enough to help navigate in uncharted waters.

If mobile solutions are going to enable organizations to drive growth and profitability, technology or technical knowhow alone won’t guarantee success. It starts with executive leadership. And our team’s talent and passion will be the determining factor.

What skills do you look for to drive mobile success? Any other key characteristics that I left out?

Connect with me on Twitter (@kaanturnali) and LinkedIn.