The Importance of Breaking the Mould and Not Being Confined to Single Roles

Companies benefit when employees are allowed to transcend their primary roles, bringing a broader range of skills to the table, writes Amandeep Singh.

The world loves to pigeonhole us, and companies are especially guilty of this.

  • Are you a sales hunter or a nurturer of business accounts?
  • Are you a strategist or an executor?
  • Are you a numbers person or a creative?

But why must we fit neatly into these categories?

Why can’t someone be all of these things, or at least a blend?


 

This oversimplification of roles can be limiting. As Albert Einstein once said, “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”

The same can be said about the versatility required in today’s dynamic work environments. We all hear about this and talk about it in conference, trainings and forums but yet fail to actually implement it.

The Pitfalls of Traditional Job Classifications

Traditional job classifications help streamline workflows and standardize compensation. According to BambooHR, job levels create a logical structure, ensuring fairness in wages and helping in talent retention. However, these classifications often fall short in capturing the full range of an individual’s capabilities.

Research conducted by the Wharton School suggests that while job classifications bring order, they can also be restrictive. They fail to acknowledge that many roles today require a blend of skills that don’t fit neatly into predefined boxes


 

Embracing Multifaceted Talent

Steve Jobs famously said, “Innovation is saying no to a thousand things.”

This quote underscores the importance of focus, but it also implies that diverse skills and perspectives fuel innovation. In the modern workplace, versatility is a significant asset.

A study published in the Journal of Management Studies highlights how rigid role definitions can stifle innovation and growth. Companies benefit when employees are allowed to transcend their primary roles, bringing a broader range of skills to the table.

This adaptability not only fosters personal growth but also drives organisational success

Real-World Implications

Take, for instance, the rise of the “T-shaped” professional—a concept popularized by Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO. A T-shaped professional has deep knowledge in one area but also possesses a broad range of skills and knowledge across other disciplines.

This model encourages a blend of specialization and generalization, which is crucial in today’s interconnected business landscape.

Moreover, companies like Google and Apple thrive by encouraging employees to explore different functions. Google’s 20% time policy allows employees to spend one-fifth of their time on projects they are passionate about, regardless of their job description. This policy has led to the creation of some of Google’s most successful products, including Gmail and Google News.

“It’s time for organisations to rethink how they define roles. Encouraging a more flexible approach can unleash the untapped potential within their teams.”

Time to Unbox

It’s time for organisations to rethink how they define roles. Encouraging a more flexible approach can unleash the untapped potential within their teams.

As Richard Branson aptly put it, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” This philosophy not only enhances employee satisfaction but also maximizes their contributions to the company.

Impact on Marketing

Marketing is no different, but in a way today needs more of talent which is not categorised into single roles and expertise. The business has very specific ask from the marketing team which is to help them grow.

As the ecosystem expands and consumer journey becomes more complex, it is not possible for any company to hire people in each and every expertise area. They want to spend money on people who are good in multiple areas of expertise.

A CMO who balances brand building and performance marketing. One who has been hands on both in his career. Excels at financial analysis and is creative in strategy making.

A brand manager who understands social, digital, customer experience seamlessly and can identify where the interventions need to be made

A creative who understands switching between focus and time required on key creative idea vs content at scale required on digital

Which box are you categorised in?


The views expressed in this article are personal, and not necessarily those of the author’s employer.

 

Read More

Creative Work

subscribe & get more brand in your diet

newsletter

get more brand in your diet

We never share your info,
we only share ours