to a T

I like this vision of “T-shaped people” — fun visual. “IBM is looking to recruit ‘T’ shaped people, […]

I like this vision of “T-shaped people” — fun visual.

“IBM is looking to recruit ‘T’ shaped people, Dave Roberts of IBM’s Ease of Use, told practitioners at the latest Usability Professionals Association (UPA) event in London.

The ‘T’ that IBM desires is a combination of breadth of knowledge and depth of understanding. Coming at a time when training and accreditation is high on the agenda of both the UPA and the B-HCI-G, this model of skills distribution has begun to raise interest across the board.”

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    Nice idea, but IBM’s laying off by the thousands (,3658,s%253D1884%2526a%253D19146,00.asp ).

    Also, recession economies don’t seem like times when companies are really that interested in innovative hiring practices. “T” shaped is nice, but they’ll probably feel safer hiring those “I” shaped ones that fit corporate structures better. “T” shaped is what all the fun, innovative Internet companies hired for three years ago.

    I did some work for BP’s HR group. They talked for three days about new concepts of leadership which rewarded employees for being broadly skilled, emotionally mature, and able to work across groups and specializations–roughly the “T” shape that IBM is talking about.

    This group then made its report to the Executive Committe: a group of white, male, lifelong Petro-Chem engineers totally uninterested in management styles that deviated from command-control heirarchies, and suspicious of employees with any appeal aside from lists of credentials. The real power structure of corporations will continue to want “I” shaped people for some time, I imagine.

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