Generalists Inside Your Organisation →

Jorge Barba writes:

Simple and complicated situations are the domain of specialists, while Generalists are best suited to tackle complex and chaotic situations. Another way to view this is: specialists will bring immediate answers, generalists will ask new questions. For complex challenges, questions trump answers.

I found myself nodding in voilent agreement reading through this post. I’m now reflecting on, and observing my own confirmation bias.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately, about the problem of categorising and labelling. Putting people in a box only encourages them to behave according to the label we assign them. It also reinforces the stories we tell ourselves. I’m struck with how it encourages us to take sides, to belong to one group or the other, rather than to see other possibilities.

Labels ignore context. In reality our behaviours are dynamic, not static. The only true answer as to whether someone is a specialist or a generalist is: It depends.