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Thursday, March 1

How T-Shaped Are You?

I discovered Paul Isakson's blog today...He is a planner at a small agency in Denver, US. A click at his blog-roll led me to Giles(Rhys Jones)'s blog who happens to be a director at Ogilvy London! Giles has this very interesting blog on interactive marketing trends, a subject that I am very keen to explore and have 0.5 people around me to talk to!!

That's the thing I like the most about the blogosphere. I can escape the tyranny of 'proximity'. I can operate like a department of one. More about it sometime next week...

Now Giles has this interesting post on Mr.T-shaped People! A small search on wordspy.com led me to this ...

"T-shaped" communications planners, with a background in media, have a deep understanding of media, and a broad understanding of the other disciplines within the marketing spectrum. They might not have a deep understanding of the minutiae of direct marketing, but they would broadly understand the repercussions of its inclusion in a through-the-line campaign.

To continue the alphabetical analogy, if the ideal communications planner is "T-shaped", then a classic media agency employee is "I-shaped" — with a deep understanding of their discipline, but not necessarily of any other — and a classic client-side employee "hyphen-shaped", their role requiring a broad understanding of many disciplines rather than specific knowledge of one.

"The worry is that media agencies are trying to do a "T" job with "I" people." - Angus Bannerman, in Marketing Week, October 2, 2003

The earliest citation on T-shaped people is by David Guest in "The hunt is on for the Renaissance Man of computing," (The Independent (London), September 17, 1991)
*This type of rounded personality is also sought in other branches of science which prize individuals known as T-shaped People. These are a variation on Renaissance Man, equally comfortable with information systems, modern management techniques with an unusual set of interests."

After the unbundling of media in India and elsewhere, I suspect, the creative and media agency systems have promoted the I-shaped guys...Many of the planners of the last decade I suspect are also more 'I' than 'T'!

At least that's my experience being a planner in a small agency! And now how do I cross my 'I' every day?:-) Any suggestions? Giles?


Thinks Heyz said...

Hi Manish. really interesting post. there are some other advertising blogs that also talk about "learning something about everything and everything about something".
I'm a BMM grad where we learnt something about several many things. starting from economics and psychology, we sampled research, media, tv, journalism, planning, direct, copy, art n such. were fortunate to get an integrated look at media. so I think we developed our horizontal. and it left our ends open for more growth. but it didn't particularly help us with the vertical much. but perhaps work is the place to develop that. many of us BMM people are knocking on the agency doors (many already in). just makes me feel good that there's hope for us.

Manish said...

not just hope. lots and lots of scope:-)

Giles said...

sorry to visit so late and cheers for the mention. you are a blogger so that makes you lower case t at least. giles

Manish said...

hey giles...how are you? lemme visit your blog. havent been there lately!