Why your organization needs more generalists

Leadership UncategorizedPublished September 19, 2014 at 6:21 pm

If I had a nickle for every time a business owner said to me “if I could just hire more people who think like me” I could donate my billions like Gates and Buffet.

What they are lamenting is the ability to attract people to their business who understand the big picture strategy a given situation needs.

Our society worships specialists. No body brags about going to a general practitioner for a health issue, we brag about going to a specialist. CEO’s usually say their lawyers specialize in their kind of company. Most companies when they advertise for job openings they want folks with specific industry experience in that job. Most company founders grew up as specialist and now struggle to be effective as a generalist. Think of an expert violinist who gets promoted to be the orchestra conductor., not an easy transition, but one all too common in the real world of organizational leadership.

This myopic focus on being specialized creates overwhelming group think, with people functioning as experts within silo’s unable to appreciate the larger dynamic at play. The exact opposite of today’s organizational need to innovate. In my opinion at the root of many societal ills.

My work as a generalist is in a large part helping company founders and leadership teams to create flexible, innovative organizations able to respond to chaos just about everyone is experiencing in the market place. When organizations stop trying to hire a silver bullet answer (they don’t exist) and stop building a team that can work a process to solve all the organizations challenges.

Smart, creative motivated people with virtually no experience in your industry sometimes are just the catalyst you need to find new solutions.

Let go of your prejudice and bring on a generalist today to solve your challenges.

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