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The Rise of the Generalist

Our entire society is built around Specialization. In most companies, you get hired and promoted based on your level of domain expertise. However, the problems and issues that today's organizations are facing are much broader than in the past. When specialists get together to solve those problems, they get caught up within their own limited perspectives and as a result, problems remain unsolved. Therefore, new capabilities are needed. The New Generalist connects the dots and brings out the best in specialists. They are becoming an essential part of an organization, yet there's no home for them. They don't fit in your typical "boxes", not are they valued as much as they should be. It's time to raise awareness and call out the need and the talents of those who can help organizations progress and thrive through a vast wave of change.

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The Rise of the Generalist

  1. 1. The Rise of the Generalist New Problems Require New Approaches @reuvengorsht
  2. 2. Almost every organization looks like this
  3. 3. HR With Specialist organizations Designed to support business priorities Finance R D IT
  4. 4. They value deep domain expertise, efficiency and process execution Domain expertise efficiency process execution
  5. 5. You get hired, promoted and measured based on your expertise and value-add in your particular specialization
  6. 6. Going back to 1776, in Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, division of labor always represented a qualitative increase in productivity
  7. 7. We’ve built our entire society and educational system around specialization
  8. 8. The way to move up the ladder is to focus and get good at something VP of HR CIO VP of Procurement VP of Sales
  9. 9. However, issues that businesses face today are MUCH MORE COMPLEX
  10. 10. And when complex problems arise, WHAT HOW WHY BUT HUH
  11. 11. Odds are they don’t always intersect within areas of specialization
  12. 12. Each specialist sees the problem through THEIR OWN LENS
  13. 13. Which leads to NARROW perspectives
  14. 14. While some companies have been successful in bringing together cross- functional teams to work together towards a Common goal
  15. 15. Many resort to creating more specialized silos
  16. 16. Hiring MORE SPECIALISTS to facilitate communications between specialists
  17. 17. But this only increases Complexity and distance from THE customer
  18. 18. Problems remain unsolved
  19. 19. The bottom line is that capabilities needed to win in the marketplace are much broader than they were in the past
  20. 20. What organizations really need are Generalists with new and agile skills
  21. 21. But aren’t Generalist jacks of all trades masters of none
  22. 22. NOT AT ALL!
  23. 23. The new Generalist is a master of their trade They bring expertise and experience FROM several areas
  24. 24. They see the big picture
  25. 25. They understand and can synthesize the full scope at hand
  26. 26. They are fueled by insatiable curiosity and the ability to LEARN AND UNLEARN new concepts and ideas.
  27. 27. They act like the hub of a wheel Connecting teams of experts
  28. 28. They complement specialists, by challenging them to think differently but never compete with them or take credit for their ideas
  29. 29. they can reframe, package and present ideas, helping decision makers visualize the future. As outstanding communicators
  30. 30. by understanding and personally diffusing resistance to change. they encourage and promote change from within
  31. 31. The new generalist is courageous,  the ultimate balancer of competing interests, and a natural strategic thinker
  32. 32. the specialist and the generalist The modern organization needs both
  33. 33. But it requires rethinking how we recruit and how we manage
  34. 34. Generalists don’t typically fit In a box
  35. 35. NEW SKILLS need to be DEVELOPED
  36. 36. HOW CAN YOU SPOT a great GENERALIST?
  37. 37. Attitude first not only experience
  38. 38. Intellectually curious  (to an extreme level)   meta name="keywords"   content="HTML,  CSS,  XML,   XHTML,  JavaScript”
  40. 40. Can imagine EVERYTHING From a different perspective
  41. 41. Leads by influence and collaboration
  42. 42. Constantly challenges THE status quo and Encourages new wayS of doing things
  43. 43. ARE YOU READY FOR The rise of the generalist? @reuvengorsht