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Defining Skill Sets in a Design Based Work Environment

by | Nov 10, 2014 | PKF Texas - The Entrepreneur's Playbook®

Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, this week’s guest host, and I’m back with Kelsey Ruger, the Chief Experience Officer at CogMine and the President of the Houston Interactive Marketing Association. Kelsey, welcome back to the Playbook.

Kelsey: Thanks, Jen.

Jen: So we’ve talked about design thinking and how it can be applied to, you know, kind of any type of company, but I guess the question that is in my mind is how do you hire for that?

Kelsey: So this is a topic I’m really passionate about, and I think it’s probably the most critical thing that a company can look at is who do you hire and how do you fill these roles. Typically what’s happened in the past is companies would hire what I call I-shaped people, and I-shaped means you are – you have a depth of skill in one area and it’s really deep. When I think of people that you need to really work across the organization, you need T-shaped people, and so those are people who have a depth of skill in one area, but they are also broadly skilled in other areas that not only help them understand their job and the problems that they’re solving, but they can also relate to other people’s jobs.

And in a lot of cases, you’ll find that you will have people who cross over into difference disciplines so you’ll get designers who become really good at writing software, or you have developers who get really good at marketing or sales because the company is looking to build people with broadly-based skill sets. And that way you can have teams that work really well together and it works really well in these environments where the team is really responsible for building and executing on the projects.

Jen: That’s really cool. Well, thanks for sharing that with us, we appreciate it. This has been another Thought Leader Production brought to you by the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. Tune in next week for another chapter.

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