In a recent McKinsey Global Survey, 87% of leaders acknowledged skill gaps in their workforces — yet less than half of respondents had a clear plan for confronting this challenge. The COVID-19 crisis has only made this issue more urgent. From mastering new technologies at home to remotely managing sales relationships and collaborating virtually with colleagues, the need for upskilling employees is only increasing.
As a futurist who’s helped organizations anticipate change for nearly 20 years, I’ve witnessed the evolution from hiring employees who are specialists to recruiting those who are generalists. I believe we’re now on the cusp of a hybrid model where the most valuable employees are interdisciplinary. While generalists know a little about a lot of subjects and I-shaped employees are experts in a single area, a T-shaped person is a subject-matter expert in at least one area and knowledgeable or skilled in several others.