Leveraging I and T shaped characteristics through the innovation process

The different skills of I and T shaped people come into their own in the different stages of the innovation process. Most of the time, businesses operate mainly with I-shaped characteristics. The added abilities of T-shaped characteristics – ds – really shine in the stages that benefit the most greatly from a cross-discipline/inter-silo perspective and collaboration. These are the stages where divergent thoughts are most likely to occur.

Problem/opportunity realisation

“We have a problem/opportunity.”


Requirements gathering

“What exactly is the problem/opportunity? What outcomes do we want?”

I & T: I-shaped to provide the specialist input and deep insights; T-shaped to connect the shareholders and ask out-of-the-box questions and big picture patterns.


“What if? Why not? Perhaps?”

Evaluation and planning

“Which idea should we pursue?”

I: Primarily I-shaped skills – decision making, SWOT analysis, project planning, expert execution…

Execution and delivery

“Let’s do it!”

Review and improvement

“Did it work? How do we do better? What new problems/ opportunities have arisen?”

I & T: I-shaped to provide the deep insights; T-shaped to connect the shareholders and provide cross-silo insights.

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