Saturday, June 27, 2020

Does the Future of the Workplace Belong to Generalists?

Is This the Key to Productivity?

Certainly the cost of labour using more productive staff with more comprehensive knowledge will reduce cost, increase profit, and/or increase the standard of living of those productive staff who are paid more for their skills, which will trickle down in their own consumption.

This article by a Harvard Lecturer is spot on. It should be required reading for all recruiters, HR, Hiring Managers, Owners- well- everybody.

Organization structure today is built around silos of specialists, which is not only inefficient but can be dangerous. For example, if someone in Department A makes a critical mistake in product specifications not caught by Department B, whose only responsibility is to execute it, they will not catch the mistake because it is as written, even if it is wrong. A generalist responsible for the whole process would have a 90%+ chance of a. not making or b. catching such a mistake.

Also, I am constantly shocked by companies' ignorance of the fact that, regardless of the product, the sourcing and manufacturing process is almost identical in every case. What is more, I found that if I could successfully produce shirts, which will have dozens of specifications and parts (worth a couple dollars), that it was super easy for me to correctly evaluate a crusher plant worth $500K.

I am not sure what the speed of recognition will be-if at all- but I am sure that COVID-19 may be the stimulus needed to start people thinking this way.


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