Skill management often suffers from the fact, that skills are intangible. The existing competence is not finally identifiable. This is why expectations grow into unrealistic areas – knows everything, everywhere, can solve special problems etc. These unrealistic expectations generate frustration and de-motivation. The T-model of skills is based on the assumption that people have generally the same potentials. Capabilities are used in different areas, but the potential amount of skills is comparable – not to say, limited by the 1.5 kg.
The T-Model of skills is a thinking model and basically made up of generalist and specialist.
The actual benefit of the model is the intuitive understanding that it has to be decided strategically whether the personal knowledge will be developed horizontally or vertically. The generalist and specialist will be described below and additionally examples like area generalist and professional:
This represents a qualification that targets for maximum breadth, i.e. to cover as many skill areas as possible. The breadth has to be paid with a lack of depth, i.e. it cannot be accumulated detailed competencies in various knowledge areas. Generalists are mainly effective in leadership, coordination and communication tasks.
This represents a slim skill distribution, i.e. to cover detailed skills in a special area. The slimness is paid by lack of breadth, i.e. skills in neighboring and other areas are only assembled, if it serves the specialization. All other aspects are not further detailed. Specialists are mainly found in operative areas, e.g. development, production, sales and maintenance.
This represents a qualification that goes for maximum breadth in one area of expertise, i.e. to cover as many aspects of this area as possible. The limited breadth allows for a certain depth. Area generalists can be found in operative leadership that often requires taking over some tasks.
This is the day-to-day competency in office work. The breadth and the depth offer flexible deployment in different tasks. These are mainly administrative and operative tasks in the various functional areas. In special cases support comes from specialists.
Further examples can be developed, as long as the surface of the skill area remains the same.