20 August 2007

Specialist or generalist?


Specialist or generalist?, originally uploaded by dgray_xplane.

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5 comments:

Μενελαος said...

What the picture shows, is that the required depth of the object that differentiates generalists from specialists is not only an artistic construction, not even sole artifacts of the territory, not only these! It is a matter of how well you can conceptualize on topology, better say the topology of what you perceive from nature. Taking into consideration that we are talking about a powerful and a complex construction, topology as the picture suggests, proves its discrete artifacts on a multidimensional basis and not a solid volume, that has been visualized somewhere far far away!

Gabriel said...

I come from an Information Technology world (software development especifically) where a Generalist is an architect who analize the problem of the client, define a solution and negotiate with him. While an Specialist is a well trained person who develop the software and apply all his technical expertise.
Both persons work together but in different stages complementing his efforts in order to solve the client's problem.
Each one do their best according to their function.

When we speak about communication I think apply the same.

Many of us would consider we are experts to communicate just because we have good knowledge of our job or our processes.
But the construction of a message is complex and we need more than intuition.

It is normal if we don't have the right skills to go beyond the surface.
In my honest oppinion in those cases is necesary to get the advice of a generalist and a specialists in communcation, make a team with those persons who have the enough expertise and the techniques to understand our problem and build a message (working together) in a clear and effective way.

Jeff said...

Currently dealing with situation where a client who hired (them) an event promoter and (us) an interactive agency to create a concept and campaign. I was trying to explain to my team how even though we all aspire to be big picture generalists when either love or money is on the line we quickly retreat to our specializations. Beautiful visualization. Feels like an epidermis for some reason.

Mike said...

Very interesting diagram. It has stuck with me for days.

My mind can see the interconnections between specialists. These connections can run point to point (natural routes) or though "command control" routes (up to the top layer then back down).

It feels like the "brain" of an organization.

Manaswita said...

BRILLIANT..
I think the picture leaves nothing to be said

...one glance at it and you know the salient features of both generalist (width of scope and multidimensional) and specialists (depth of scope but unidirectional)
(I wont say "dep
th of scope and unidirectional because that would put them on an equal footing with generalists and I am quite biased towards generalists...specialise in generalism ;-) )