Interesting points in this Design Intelligence article about the need for T-shaped deep generalists in architectural practice. I think these are equally applicable to any business that works on complex projects that cross multiple technical disciplines. Oh wait, that’s probably most if not ALL businesses!

“At one time, being an expert meant knowing more than one’s competitors in a particular field.”

“Expertise today is a much more social, fluid, and iterative process than it used to be. Being an expert is no longer about telling people what you know so much as understanding what questions to ask, who to ask, and applying knowledge flexibly and contextually to the specific situation at hand.”

“The answer to Should I be a specialist or generalist? is yes. There must be people who can see the details as well as those who can see the big picture. One gift of the design professional is the rare (and underappreciated) ability to do both simultaneously. As with any hybrid — generalizing specialist or specializing generalist — one’s strength provides the confidence to contribute openly from many vantage points and perspectives.”

“It is not just that the integrated team is now multidisciplinary, but we each must become multidisciplinary. Doing so requires a multidisciplinary mindset. This entails empathy, a genuine appreciation for others’ ideas, seeing from many perspectives, and anticipating possible consequences to any course of action.”

Read the full article BIM Beyond Boundaries by Randy Deutsch.

Thanks to Bob Jacobson for this link.