T-shaped skills…

Email: Which types of skills bring success in business? (Ireland)

Humbly, recalling what I read recently. The concept of T-shaped skills is a metaphor to describe abilities of successful people in a workforce. The vertical bar of letter T represents depth of a specific skill or functional expertise (e.g. technical). The horizontal bar is an ability to collaborate across disciplines (e.g. project management). T-shaped skill people work closely with others to apply knowledge in areas of expertise other than one’s own. An alternate phrase for ‘T-shaped‘ is a ‘generalising specialist‘.

Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO endorsed this approach to résumé assessment as a method to build inter-disciplinary work teams for creative, innovative processes. A T-shaped person is representative of unique abilities with deep knowledge related to those abilities. The horizontal bar represents that person’s ability to use general skills to co-create, partner with different areas of specialism. T-shaped people are good at team-work. T-shaped skills enable flexibility, curiosity, a learning & growth mindset.


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