You may have heard about the desire for “T-shaped” skillsets.
A new idea of the “V-shaped” individual and team has been proposed by Jeroen Kraaijenbrink, Adjunct Associate Professor at University of Amsterdam Business School.
The concept of the T-shaped skillset stands for someone who is both specialist and generalist at the same time. They have deep knowledge in one area (the vertical bar of the T) and a broad knowledge about a range of other areas (the horizontal bar).
The first is needed to do one’s own work, the second is required to provide context to collaborate and communicate with others.
Like the T-shaped skillset, a V-shaped skillset represents deep knowledge in one area and a broad general knowledge across a range of other domains.
The difference, Jeroen argues, is that of a deeper “adjacent knowledge”, knowledge that is related to someone’s core expertise. It is not deep, nor shallow, but in between—hence the V-shape.
Being a specialist is great, but both from an individual’s career perspective and from an organizational perspective, we need people who are versatile and agile. Team members who can do more than just their primary job. Who can switch roles and grow. This requires them to have adjacent expertise in areas close to their core area.
I would suggest that the V-shaped skillset is also a great asset to any customer facing role, be they focused on internal or external customers, process participants or stakeholders.
Balanced with a healthy dose of emotional intelligence or EQ, this can be a key contributor to a better understanding of the customer experience and the nature of the customer relationship.
I wonder if this V-shaped skillset contributes to personal fulfilment and happiness. Can the V-shaped individual make an even bigger contribution to their own aspirations and those of the organization?
How V-shaped are you and your team?
How do we develop this V-shaped skillset?
Thanks for reading . . .