Tony Golsby-Smith’s article on Innovative thinking in HBR recommends hiring people from humanities. Tony says that people who study literature and arts can see the big picture and hence bring those perspectives to table. I agree the people with humanities background should have more curiosity than say management students but I guess the scientists should have the same curiosity. The argument that humanists are trained to be curious is not universally true. I am not sure about the ability to get under the customer’s skin too as that requires ability to connect with people which is not people in any field are trained to be, it is something some people are born with and some learn through experiences.
In my opinion this argument can be generalized. You ned diversity in your workforce and in your management teams. This will bring in the ideas from various fields that you can then customize for your industry and environment and use. And it is time organizations acknowledge that education just provides the base grounding is not an end all that they should look at before hiring people, just like they should avoid the trap created by alumni of B-schools that makes them believe they are the best. There are enough examples to prove the otherwise.