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-solving Step



Problem/opportunity realisation“We have a problem/opportunity.”I-shaped, T-shaped, and others.
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.
Ideation“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.