Jan 11, 2012

T-shaped people

During one edition of Business Cocktail, one thing mentioned by our invited entrepreneur, Andrei Rosca, made me reflect more on career path(s). He was talking about how entrepreneurs must leave behind their specialization and get knowledge from more domains in order to be able to succeed.

Is this a difficult trade-off or it becomes natural for entrepreneurial-blooded people?

If you would ask me some years ago what do I do, my answer was simple: Marketing. I studied Marketing, I was working in Marketing. And I was actually considering it so broad with all its sub-domains from which I was trying to choose one or few. I was a Marketing specialist. I still am. But now if you ask me the same question, the answer is not that simple anymore. What do I do? Marketing, Business Development, HR, Events, IT. Why? Somehow along the way I noticed how all these fields are complementary and I was trying to be able to get the whole picture, while gathering some knowledge and experience in each field. I am a curious and ambitious person, and I believe diversity is a strength. But what is this making me? 

Then I remember a conversation with Luca Sartoni who was looking at that point in time for T-shaped people to hire.  

Evrika! The best (new) concept to define this type of people who have one specialization, but also have (a shallower) knowledge and experience in other fields. Those who are able to understand things beyond their area of expertise, those who are highly adaptable and quick learners, those who are able to see the big picture, those who can build relations with people from other backgrounds, those who reduce the mystery of other crafts and help build a common language in the company, those who are able to spot cross-functional opportunities.

Yes, I am one of those! Being an entrepreneur it definitely helps to be a T-shaped person. But what about when you are an employee? Do/ Can employers value this typology and make the best of it? Are they able to spot it during hiring process or later on? 

I would love to hear some opinions on this from other business people.

(One interesting description in this video)


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