T-Shape

T-Shape

It can be helpful to view creativity by looking at what some call the T-shaped person. Think of the vertical part of the T as the expertise most relevant to your job, i.e. law, or advertising, or rocket science. This is great, however to be more creative, consider focusing on the horizontal part of the T...

In Detail

It can be helpful to view creativity by looking at what some call the T-shaped person. Think of the vertical part of the T as the expertise most relevant to your job. So for a graphic designer, it would be knowing how to use image editing software, and having a good understanding of complimentary colours.

Or for a lawyer, it would be a good knowledge of the relevant statutes and cases that relate to their area of specialism.

Moving on to the horizontal part of the T, you might have started your career in a different industry, or you might have several diverse hobbies unrelated to the kinds of things you work on during the week. The graphic designer might be a keen triathlon runner, wannabe Masterchef winner and 1950s film buff. None of these things directly relates to their role as graphic designer.

The more you can add to the horizontal part of the T the better, as it’s these diverse interests and experiences that mean you can draw on different approaches to problems, and make unexpected connections. It’s these connections from seemingly unrelated areas that often make the most original ideas or solutions.

As Steve Jobs famously said: "Creativity is just connecting things.”

So, try and spend a few minutes "mapping out" your T-shape. Look at your CV or LinkedIn profile, and think about your interests, expertise and experience. How T-shaped are you?

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