According to Accenture’s recent Intelligent Operations research, the future belongs to organizations with intelligent operations that harness talent, data, and intelligence to transform their business processes and make better decisions, more quickly and confidently. Intelligent operations can make organizations more flexible, agile, and responsive; enable them to generate value faster; and help create significant and sustainable competitive advantage.

Along with four other essentials—rich data, applied intelligence, cloud, and ecosystem partnerships—innovative talent is a foundational element of intelligent operations. In fact, 50 percent of executives participating in our study said having people with a creative, entrepreneurial spirit and curiosity for innovation is their top workforce requirement.

What makes such individuals unique is that they have both deep expertise in a specific area as well as a more expansive world view. Think of their skill set as being “T” shaped, with the vertical portion of the letter representing domain knowledge, such as benefits administration, and the horizontal representing their broader perspectives on and knowledge in related areas, such as expertise with a particular software or a customer service background.

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