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T-Shaped Professional

T-Shaped Professional

With the change in times and with new challenges comes along new competencies. It overtakes the old ones and begins a quest for new ones. In this respect Ajeenkya DY Patil University follows two great thinkers Daniel Pink and Howard Gardener.

In “A Whole New Mind”, Daniel Pink describes that this new economy calls for skills and talents that, historically, have been largely discounted in the workplace – creativity, empathy, intuition, and the ability to link seemingly unrelated objects and events into something new and different. He says, in the present age i.e. the Conceptual Age the heroes will be creators and empathizers; they will be artists and storytellers and designers.

Howard Gardner a noted psychologist, Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in his book “Five Minds for the Future” looks specifically at what will be required for a person to be equipped to deal with what is expected, as well as what cannot be anticipated. The book explains ‘five minds’ that will be required to be nurtured to be successful in this new age.

  • The disciplined mind “has mastered at least one way of thinking”, Gardner says. “Without at least one discipline . . . the individual is destined to march to someone else’s tune.”
  • The synthesizing mind “takes information from disparate sources . . . and puts it together in ways that make sense to the synthesizer and also other persons . . . the capacity to synthesize becomes ever more crucial as information (often conflicting) continues to mount at dizzying rates”.
  • The creating mind “breaks new ground”, the author says. “It puts forth new ideas, poses unfamiliar questions, conjures up fresh ways of thinking, arrives at unexpected answers.” In so doing, the creating mind “seeks to remain at least one step ahead” of computers.
  • The respectful mind “notes and welcomes differences between human individuals and between human groups . . . In a world where we are all interlinked, in-tolerance or disrespect is no longer a viable option.”
  • Last, the ethical mind “conceptualizes how workers can serve purposes beyond self-interest”. The ethical mind then “acts on the basis of these analyses”.

ADYPU through its teaching and learning yearns to develop these 5 minds in its students. It will develop its students as T-Shaped Professional, one who is an expert in the chosen domain (T’s vertical stroke) and know how their discipline interacts with others (horizontal stroke). T-Shape signifies – Depth in one area; breadth in many. In addition to the specific disciplinary knowledge of the chosen program our students will be exposed to experience and knowledge of other disciplines.

Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO, has pointed to the necessity for ‘T-shaped employees.’ He describes them as: ‘people who are so inquisitive about the world that they’re willing to try to do what you do. We call them ‘T-shaped people.’ 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.’