You may have heard of Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO’s notion of why you should hire T-shaped people – – “those people who are so inquisitive about the world that they’re willing to try to do what you do. They have a principal skill that describes the vertical leg of the T — they’re mechanical engineers or industrial designers. But they are so empathetic that they can branch out into other skills, such as anthropology, and do them as well. They are able to explore insights from many different perspectives and recognize patterns of behavior that point to a universal human need. That’s what you’re after at this point — patterns that yield ideas.”
Bottom line, is these people go broad and deep. Are you a T-hire in your organization? Do you sit next to one? Can hiring more T-shaped people help significantly improve government?