Businesses today must become more innovative and more agile faster. Covid-19, striking amid the digital transformation, has revealed how volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous the business environment is right now.
Companies demand highly skilled workers who have the desire to upskill, develop and constantly learn. They need employees with cross-functional skills, the ability to communicate with a common language and work together from the same foundation.
There are plenty of offerings to build deeply skilled workers. In fact, our entire educational system is geared towards that. However, there is a blindside to our educational approach. We do not nurture cross-functionality.
Today, employees specialize in siloed functions and accelerate their capacities in the direction they hold the most skill. They learn fast, and while this is an essential part of success for a single isolated department, it lacks connection to the whole.
No common language is created, no foundation to build upon is laid, and cross-functionality remains a problem left for the future to solve, to the detriment of aligning the company today.
The T-Shaped Employee
Alignment starts by fostering T-shaped employees. The concept is the body of the T represents the employee's specialization. The top of the T represents knowledge and skills outside of their specialization. It is this knowledge and skill which creates a common “language” with co-workers from other functions, making cross-function collaboration so much more efficient.
It provides the base for them to communicate with other functions inside the company and understand their processes. They can incorporate this new knowledge into their decision-making, development, and work structures, increasing company alignment across functions and developing a common language.
Lørn creates T-shaped employees who learn from their peers and have a broad spectrum of company-specific knowledge to complement their specialization. We produce customized digital learning programs and use a peer-to-peer approach to develop a shared understanding among all employees.