Specialists vs Generalists. Why?
Updated: Dec 6, 2021
In the era of continuous learning, does this debate still hold?
I have myself been been intrigued by the generalist vs specialist jargonisation, forever. Maybe comes natural to a literature graduate who took up a media-sales role and then got hooked on to an entrepreneurial journey.
But, here’s the specific reason why I find the jargons intriguing. Isn’t the core competency the only specialization that one needs to look at? For instance, for a sales professional, the zeal to meet the numbers; for a PR professional the ability to weave effective stories; for a HR person the innate ability to understand human psychology, for a tech guy the ability to solve problems etc….
More so in a start-up environment where the greatest resource one can have is a multi-tasking team wherein team members deploy their core skills across functions aiming at the best output. For instance, a tech guy using data analytics to come up with some out-of-the-box marketing ideas or a biz dev guy being able to QC major product releases.
The stories around hashtag #unqualifiedfortech just validates the same. Steve Jobs, to my mind, is the best marketing guy that one could have , Sridhar Vembu one of the best businessman around and M.S. Dhoni the greatest HR person one can dream of. And, to the best of my knowledge, neither specialized in any course around what they are best known for.
So also the tweak that #LinkedIn programmed in its experience section last year to automatically group consecutive positions held at the same organization within a single section to highlight the diverse experience that some people amalgamate within their stints bringing to the fore not only the individual's ability to grow within the same company but also the institution's readiness to offer that opportunity to the deserving.
Then why this insistence for “area of specialization” as a pre-qualification for job screenings? Instead, would it make sense to just adopt advanced psychometric evaluation modules while hiring? Or deploy AI? May help, people who want to make a 360 degree career shift to be in tandem with their passion, or, start-ups that can't afford to have bad hires early on. That's exactly what we are trying to achieve through Digisance.
Food for thought?