TT2003 – Calling For More Generalists

Image by Miguel Ángel Ramón from Pixabay

When people ask me what I do, I tend to freeze.
I dislike labels.  If I have to be labelled
I prefer to be known as a Polymath.
Something like that.  And yet that doesn’t help
When you are looking for your next piece of work.
The market is skewed towards hiring specialists.

The world of HR and recruitment love labels.
It somehow makes the hiring process less risky
For them when they can you put you into a box.
Specialisms, industry knowledge, groupthink.
It’s a disease which is rife and one where
Renaissance (wo)man stands no chance!

How can generalists become more useful?
Some give back by working as a volunteer.
Charitable work is very is rewarding
But does not pay the bills.
Others enter academia to become
Priests to the religion that is education.

Others become authors or artists.  Yet in business
Creativity clashes with corporate straight jackets.
Squashed between policies and boring routines
We need a revolution! A revolution
In the way that cognitive diversity is
Recognised, commissioned and rewarded.

Ahah! I hear you say! It’s up to the generalist
To market their skills and get themselves a job!
However, generalists don’t like being tied-down
To particular job descriptions.  They don’t like
Being put into a box.  They are too inquisitive,
Onto the next idea before the last has closed.

What if there was a pool of generalists
Who could be engaged for an hour, day or week?
They know lots of things about many things
And can challenge like the Court Jester.
Crazy ideas might lead to a great product or service.
Who would commission them? Would you? And why?