Get Shouty

square pegs and round holes
June 10, 2010, 7:25 pm
Filed under: Experience

There’s a lot of talk about the kind of skill sets and team structures that are needed T Shaped and Sun Shaped People, and from BBH NY  Voltron:

‘T-shaped people’ – awesome in (at least) one area, plus highly collaborative and at least literate in many other things. So blending both the right skills and the right attitude.

In addition to sketching out why these hybrid people are so important in creating new forms of creative product, I briefly touch upon the importance of the agency implementing the right kind of ’operating system’ (the processes, values and culture within a company) if the fancy new ’software’ is going to run smoothly. If the operating system is outdated, even the most impressive software is redundant. I show, in one slide, an overview of how BBH in New York is approaching the re-engineering of it’s OS.

I can’t help but think that the name ‘t-shaped’ is not something that people might identify themselves with. It doesn’t feel inspirational or aspiration or like a personal goal. And it being a hard angled space it, to me feels like a term that fights against the flow, organic and fluid nature of innovation.

And it’s just another made up word. It needs to be explained. With out the supporting deck it’s obscure and it can’t defend itself with out a chart. Must try harder.

I wonder if we can come up with a naming convention that works a little harder for us- but makes our audience fell like they know what the hell we’re talking about.

Something like this:

“What you need to learn is that being creative is not enough in this business. You have to become technical. Creative people are born creative – you’re lucky. Technical people however can never be creative. Its something they’ll never get. You can’t buy it, find it, study it – you’re born with it. Too many creative people don’t want to learn how to be technical, so what happens? they become dependent on technical people. Become technical, you can learn that. If you’re creative and technical, you’re unstoppable.”

Robert Rodriguez (via feltron :: roomthily :: ronenreblogs)

I really like that notion of unstoppable. I like that there’s a personal goal there: what you need to do to be unstoppable. I like the promise that this idea might give a team.

I can’t believe that I’m going to argue against the following:

Mr. Ping: The secret ingredient is… nothing!
Po: Huh?
Mr. Ping: You heard me. Nothing! There is no secret ingredient.
Po: Wait, wait… it’s just plain old noodle soup? You don’t add some kind of special sauce or something?
Mr. Ping: Don’t have to. To make something special you just have to believe it’s special.

Because deep down we also know that this just isn’t true:

There is no charge for awesomeness… or attractiveness

That’s where the big bucks are made my friend. Skadoosh.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I really enjoyed this post. Mainly because yes, being T shaped is a bit sticky.

Without ever having this explained to me I’ve tried everything I can to become technical. From music it became from sound, tone and emotion – and that was only ever possible if I became more technical.

Sure, I could have found another guitarist who WAS technical (and I be the pretty picture person), but when you’re 13, picking those peopl eisn’t something you do: so you learn to do both.

Some of the best technically gifted guitarists I know, struggle to ever write a song or produce an album. It’s something they’ve confided in me that it’s a massive frustration that they mightn’t ever conquer.

Hopefully this little example makes everything a little more tangible.

Comment by Jye Smith

I think Mr. Rodriguez has a painfully narrow idea of what creativity is.

Comment by David Gillespie

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