How can you find your place in a world that is limited by categories, names and assumptions? People attach a meaning to words because it’s easy. It makes them feel safe since they can keep their knowledge organized in their head. A predetermined label is easier than creating an own, even if it isn´t completely true.
Taking things for granted
If you say that you are a copywriter I get a vision, based on my own personal knowledge and experience, of what a copywriter does and quickly associate you with that skillset. The problem is that people also are lazy; we prefer to have a label so that we quickly know without having to do a lot of thinking. It is also because we are cowards; if you don’t fit into a certain category, people don’t know what you are and that makes them feel dumb and insecure.
So even if you are good at many other things than writing copy, you´re still a copywriter. My point is that companies have difficulties of evaluating a mixed skillset when it comes to hiring people. And when people with too alike toolbox come together you lose diversity which for sure will affect the creativity and innovation spirit within the organization.
Companies inside the company
I had an interview a year ago where the agency had several positions that could have been a potential fit – they said so themselves. But after talking to every department´s head, they decided not to hire me. It felt like the diferent departments ignored my other skills beside the skill they mainly were looking for, no matter if these skills would have improved the company as a whole more than my main skill would have improved the specific department.
Failing to see the big context
My skillset didn’t match their assumptions and was therefore blurry and intangible. I think that companies sometimes follow their specifications so carefully that they lose track of the bigger perspective – what is best not just for the department but also for the company as a whole.
It isn’t names and categories that is a threat to innovation. It is the laziness and cowardice to not look beneath and beyond them that is.