Square-shaped is the new T-shaped

What’s better than knowing a little about a lot and a lot about a little? Knowing a lot about a lot.

The Reading Room, Public Library of NSW, 1942

At Undercurrent, we spend most of our time helping our clients to explore uncharted waters. We’re attempting to understand, adapt to, and adopt new ways of operating, bubbling up from the digital and tech start-up world. We also work with a wide range of businesses and industries — from hospitality to industrial manufacturing to financial services to quick-service restaurants to automotive — that each have their own universe of jargon and specialized knowledge.

To do this work well — particularly work at the intersection of people + business + technology — it helps to take an expansive approach to cultivating your expertise.

The typical ‘T-shaped’ team member is no longer adaptable enough to keep up and maintain their value in a market that evolves as quickly as today’s market does. The ideal evolving skill set for today’s digital strategy world is shaped more like an expanding square than a ‘T’.

Square-shaped is the new T-shaped

We’ve hired a number of team members with specialized expertise. And what we’ve found is that these members thrive less because of their specialized expertise, and more because of their ability to apply that same deep knowledge mindset to new areas of expertise. And it’s not just surface knowledge; it’s going deep enough to be dangerous on an expansive landscape of interconnected knowledge that quickly makes them powerful recombinant thinkers and inventors.

So, if you’re thinking about pursuing a career in digital strategy, then start working on the life-long practice of learning a lot about a lot.

Rabbit holes for your consideration:

  1. How do touchscreens work?
  2. Additive Manufacturing
  3. The Collective Intelligence Genome
  4. Artificial Intelligence
  5. List of Nobel Laureates in Economics
  6. Google & NASA’s Quantum AI Lab
  7. The FORTUNE 500
  8. Aerospace engineering
  9. History of programming languages
  10. Business model canvas

If you care about making the future of work more human and changing the way organizations operate, subscribe to our weekly newsletter and get in touch.