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I-Shaped, T-Shaped, and now V-Shaped! What are we Talking About?

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Whatever conference you go to these days there is always someone talking about I-Shaped and T-Shaped, and I’m now talking about V-Shaped. What are we talking about?

Of course, we are talking about People. Seriously!

“Dash”-shaped people are those with some knowledge and skill across multiple disciplines, but no particular depth of knowledge or skill in any one – the so-called “jack of all trades, master of none”.

I-Shaped people are those that have grown and developed good depth of knowledge and skill in a single discipline. But they have little or no knowledge or skill outside of that discipline.

T-Shaped people, the topic at most Agile conferences today are those that have good depth of knowledge and skill in one-discipline, as well as reasonable breadth of knowledge and skill across multiple disciplines.

V-shaped people is where I believe that we are heading. They have a little knowledge and skill in one discipline when they start out working.

Where V-Shaped people are different to T-Shaped people is that, as they grow in knowledge and skill, they grow in spiral fashion both horizontally and vertically.

V-Shaped people are the kind that we need for the New Way of Working – so, focus careers and competency development both across and up and grow your tomorrow’s workforce.


At TalentAlign we help organisations create a workplace where the organisation and its people can grow and thrive together and achieve their highest selves.

  • Speaking Engagements – Gail Sturgess is available to talk at public and private events on People Transformation
  • Workshops – We have a range of workshops relevant to Agile HR on People Transformation, from 3 hours to full-day
  • Facilitation – We don’t consult – we facilitate.  That way we help to build capacity and leave a sustainable future for your organisation.