Unleashing the Power of Peripatetic Professionals: Going Beyond Conventional Checklists
In today's evolving professional landscape, peripatetic professionals are challenging traditional moulds and defying categorisation. So what is a peripatetic professional? In this context it is a person who possesses a wealth of skills and experience as a result of moving around (roles, industry sectors and for differing time engagements) for both short targeted delivery outcomes or to take on an interim or longer term business transformational role to significantly enable a business to move its dial forward positively. Typically they have a background as a consultants or freelancers with specialist skillsets, who don't fit any single pigeonholed checklist or standard Job Description. It is precisely as a result of the way that they have learnt on the job in different locations, servicing different business challenges and needs that they have garnered their broad and deep experience.
These individuals possess a unique set of qualities and experiences that make it difficult for recruitment teams and business leaders to fully grasp their value at first view. Recruiters and business leaders often shy away from profiles that represent a lot of change or a broad or diverse background, perceiving them to represent risk, restlessness, lack of commitment and/or a lack of focus.
In this article, I explore and counter propose the reasons that these individuals offer through multidimensional skill sets, versatility, broader perspective, and integration abilities that make their peripatetic backgrounds invaluable when embraced and integrated in to their environments as key contributors in a variety of contexts.
1. Multidimensional Skill Sets: possessing a diverse range of skills that transcend the boundaries of specific roles or industries, these individuals have extensive experiences across multiple industry sectors which equips them with a breadth of knowledge and transferable skills, often able to step beyond a ridgid job remit and assist in multiple areas of an organisation. This multidimensionality allows them to approach problems from different angles and contribute in unexpected ways. By drawing upon their expertise in multiple areas, they bring depth and richness to their contributions, adapting to diverse environments and tackling multifaceted challenges with a holistic perspective.
2. Versatility and Adaptability: Two defining characteristics of peripatetic professionals is their versatility and adaptability. Their exposure to different industries and work environments enhances their ability to quickly learn, adapt, and excel in new contexts. They navigate diverse challenges with ease, blending their skills and experiences to provide innovative solutions. Seamlessly transitioning between roles, industries, and projects, they bring a fresh and valuable perspective to each new endeavour.
3. Broader Perspective and Creativity: Peripatetic executives offer a broader perspective derived from their exposure to diverse industries, corporate structures and professional experiences. Their willingness to take on focused roles and objectives or to solve a specific specialised business problem provides the business more flexibility, and often faster results. Because they might be engaged for a specific challenge and then move on after accomplishing specific goals, this allows them to connect dots that others may overlook. Engaging a consultative approach, they are not impacted by institutionalisation that might limit their ability to effect change and introduce new thinking. This ability to synthesize ideas from different domains fosters creativity and innovation. By challenging conventional thinking, they encourage organizations to explore new avenues and embrace unconventional solutions bringing external benchmarks, best practices, ideas and thinking.
4. Adaptation to Changing Needs: In a rapidly evolving business landscape, adaptability to changing needs and unforeseen challenges is crucial. Peripatetic careerists excel in this regard, acting quickly, pivoting, and contributing effectively in dynamic environments. They are comfortable with ambiguity and navigate through uncertainty with confidence. Their capacity to deliver targeted value while maintaining a broader perspective makes them invaluable assets in today's ever-changing world. They are naturally curious, and active in seeking solutions, assisting others, getting stuck in. Lethargy is not part of their business dialect, nor is waiting for something to happen. These are the change makers, positive disruptors and straight talkers that will bring energy to an environment.
5. Integrators of Diverse Teams: Often with a range of roles or acting as consultants in various challenging environments, these individuals naturally serve as connectors and integrators of diverse teams. Their problem-solving experiences enable them to bridge gaps, facilitate effective collaboration, and foster synergy within cross-functional teams. They appreciate diverse viewpoints and leverage this diversity to drive innovation and maximize team performance. Their adaptability to different team dynamics and cultures is crucial in building cohesive and high-performing teams.
Why and how are they useful and important?
Peripatetic executives bring a wealth of unique qualities and experiences that go beyond conventional checklists. At leadership or board level they are able to clearly communicate and often translate or work as the conduit between the different verticals of a complex and established business environment. It is the diversity of their experience from working in a variety of environments, scale of businesses and stages of growth that enables them to communicate problems processes and potential outcomes clearly and concisely. This ability to translate between the verticals, as well as join the dots, cross-organisationally is a key factor to their utility. This is underpinned via multidimensional skill sets, adaptability, broader perspective, and integration abilities make them invaluable drivers within and contributors to organisations. Recognizing and embracing their multifaceted contributions leads to enhanced creativity, innovation, and adaptability in an ever-changing business landscape. By leveraging the power of peripatetic professionals, organisations can thrive and stay ahead in today's dynamic professional world.