The age of generalists … or at least multispecialists

We’re leaving a time period of (over-)specialisation in employee engagement and internal communication.

If you look at articles, thought leaders, conference platforms — its all about the technicians (e.g., social media gurus, intranet gurus, measurement gurus, writing for the web gurus, live event gurus …).  Yet these skills by their very nature are increasingly commodditised. The changing landscape of both media and audiences means that being an expert in just one core area will keep you forever downstream, and down the food chain.

I believe we will enter a period where those with more broad-based and general skills — that is, people in business who understand and are passionate about the power and value of applying engagement techniques in business — will thrive. 

Because with rapid change, media fragmentation and audience overlap, it’s become a much more complex system.  Complex systems thinking is demanded.  And that means that minor changes in one part of the system have effects, often unanticipated, in other parts of the system.  You need to be able to see the whole thing in operation, and have a very good idea about how each of the component elements work.

So, I think we need to broaden our skills set and capabilities, in general.  We need a conference about “Putting it all together” instead of “20 speakers on the topic of the balance between web and word of mouth in experienced hire recruitment.”

Whaddaya think?


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