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Intervention by Denise Caruso Read Intervention by Denise Caruso, Executive Director of the Hybrid Vigor Silver Award Winner, 2007 Independent Publisher Book Awards; Best Business Books 2007, Strategy+Business Magazine

IT TAKES ‘T-SHAPED’ PEOPLE

by Denise Caruso ~ November 13, 2008.
Permalink | Filed under: Hybrid Vigor, Valuing Intangibles.

I’m a little embarrassed that it’s taken me almost two years to post this item — I saved a draft of it in January 2007, yikes — but even though I can’t find the link to the original story (The Korea Times, 21 Jan 2007), I thought it was worth posting anyway. It’s great food for thought, and relevant far beyond its immediate subject. Certainly it something to consider for companies who consider employees to be important intangible assets.

Back then, Lee Jeong-bae, a senior consultant at South Korea’s LG Economic Research Institute, said he thought he knew why Korean firms have failed to produce such iconic devices as Apple’s iPod and Motorola’s RAZR, despite their technological expertise: he said they lack “T-shaped” people — people who have an area of deep interest or expertise (the vertical part of the T), but also have empathy for and ability in other areas.

“To create innovative products, we have to secure insights not only into the products but also into their business opportunities by having an observant and empathetic view of the world. Only T-shaped people, who have well-rounded personalities and broad interests, can obtain such viewpoints. Sophisticated engineers who do not understand the market and customers will never devise [the products] which have a shot at becoming a grand slam.”

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