Rethinking the Generalist vs Specialist debate..

I woke up with a fire in my belly today. And no, it wasn't from a too-spicy dinner last night 🙃 I came across the age-old battle: Generalists VS Specialists debate. I asked myself:What if it isn’t about who wins the "versus" showdown?What if that’s the wrong question to be asking in the first place?What if we made a tiny, but critical, change to the lens at which we look at this?What if we shift from VS to PLUS?I channelled that fire in my belly to writing an article challenging this debate. I'm super keen to hear from my fellow Elpha crew what you think - especially if you're hiring or leading teams. IMO this comes down to creating teams and organisations that prioritize diversity of thought.

Excited to hear where you fall on the spectrum, and how you feel about this shift from VS to PLUS.

Milly :)

Pitting specialists against generalists isn't helpful for anyone. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and some are just more suited for a specific type of organization/industry. I find generalists (diverse skillset and entrepreneurial mindset) are not just great additions, but crucial, to a start-up or small business. The organization gets the power boost it needs but also provides the generalist the environment and stimulation they need to thrive and excel. We need the flexibility to exercise creativity and that's what that type of environment provides. Conversely, the bigger the organization, the more bureaucratic they become - roles are more defined, processes are set up and implemented, many more rules! - the more it needs specialists. I find companies with 100s of employees, govt bodies, companies with unions are in this category. It's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just different and a natural progression with growth. They create a clearly defined box to put people into, and we all know you can't put generalists in boxes! Unless it's a myriagon LOLSo to me, it can be either/or but not in a competitive way. However, it CAN be PLUS but this has to be intentional from the leadership side with how they want their organization to be formed.