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Showing posts from August, 2012

Expert vs. Generalist & The Third Way

A colleague in my linkedin connections   pointed me to an interesting HBR article on the growing importance of the ‘generalist’ vs. the ‘expert’ to business and other organizations. I have experienced first hand the ongoing debate between specialization and generalization since my early introduction to systems thinking. During my graduate studies I was introduced to ‘systemics’ and the challenges of designing social systems. The academic side of the challenge was to avoid the stigma of becoming labeled a dilettante while becoming an‘expert’ in how things were related and connected. I was warned from the beginning of my studies that there would be no ‘old boy’ network in place for me to fit into because of my systemic or non-specialized background. Even with all the talk about the importance of ‘T’ people in organizations, when it comes time to hire consultants or employees the choices favor domain or content experts. This ingrained distrust of anyone who is a generalist—i.e. no