Fixed Skills vs Elastic Skills

by Conisus
back to news

A decade of intense competition has forced most organizations to transform from segmented to flat (or at least flatter). They do the same, if not greater, amounts of work than before—but they do it with fewer people who are doing more varied, things.

A world of flat organizations and tumultuous business conditions—and that’s our world—punishes fixed skills and prizes elastic ones. What an individual does day to day on the job now must stretch across functional boundaries. Designers analyze. Analysts design. Marketers create. Creators market. And when the next technologies emerge and current business models collapse, those skills will need to stretch again in different directions.

—Daniel H. Pink, To Sell is Human.

That concept of fixed vs elastic skills is one of the most important in Pink’s book. I continue highlighting the importance of “blended” individual capabilities as opposed to a narrow and myopic focus on one skill. Today’s business environment demands flexibility, adaptability, and elasticity. Fixed skills and an unwillingness to cross functional areas are anachronistic, particularly in the medical education industry.

Jeff Giampalmi