Posts Tagged ‘generalists’
I enjoy having daily lunch meetings with my staff. I meet a different group each day.
These meetings are not just informal, blow-off-steam or feedback sessions. I find that they also help me crystallize my thoughts.
In between mouthfuls of food, I get a variety of less guarded input at the lunch table. Someone might add a previously missing component in my mental jigsaw puzzle or articulate something more clearly than I could have. Other times I think out loud in response to a query and the elements fall into place.
One such incomplete thought was my belief that my staff need to stop working in silos. They need get used to today’s work demands of working in cross-functional teams and become better generalists.
Why? A person’s specializations alone are not likely to address a client’s needs. Ideally that person is knowledgeable or skilled on many areas, but this is rare. In this multi-talented person’s place you need a small team of talents.
Look at it in terms of evolutionary change. In the event of significant environmental change, very few specialists survive. The majority of specialists die because they are have mutations that are suitable for other environments.
The other group of survivors is the generalists. These individuals are the ones who have the DNA and traits that suit them to many environments and situations.
It’s not the survival of the fittest and most specialized. It is the survival of the jack-of-all trades who is the master of some.