Monday, March 17, 2008

Generalists vs. Specialists

Our culture highly values specialists. We have promoted division of labor to an extreme whereby the boxes of expertise have become smaller and smaller. Could it be that this "mono-culture" has made us less self-reliant and less able to adapt to changes in our environment?

"Generalists, people with moderately strong attachments to many ideas, should be hard to interrupt, and once interrupted, should have weaker, shorter negative negative reactions since they have alternative paths to realize their plans. Specialists, people with stronger attachments to fewer ideas, should be easier to interrupt, and once interrupted, should have stronger,more sustained negative reactions because they have fewer alternative pathways to realize their plans. Generalists should be the the upbeat, positive people in the profession while specialists should be their grouchy, negative counterparts."

~ Karl Weick

Are we becoming too specialized?

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