Should People have a certain specialization in a certain field?
Why people must have an exact expertise?
People should find out their purpose in life in order to thrive. They must do what they love so as to put a spot in the universe… as Steve Jobs said. And taking the advantage of referring to Steve Jobs I will state my opinion:
Steve Jobs had never graduated from a college. He had not a certain expertise on something. If somebody had asked him which is his professional expertise/specialization, I think he would have told that he is an “innovator”, an “idea generator”, a “changer of the world” and not things like “mechanical engineer with a PhD on….something” or “a strategic manager with an MBA”. If you were to interview Steve Jobs for a position in your company and he introduced himself as “innovator” and nothing else I am sure that you would not want him to work for you!!!! (and you would be in the end loosers!). And that’s because we are used to “labels” attached to our academic background.
I don’t want to nullify the value of academic education. On the contrary, if I would like to do so that would be as nullifying myself, a dedicated lifelong learner, with academic knowledge on several disciplines.
What I really want to “cry aloud” is that whatever your academic background is and even if your academic knowledge is diversified in many fields, that doesn’t mean that you are not an expert on one or more of these fields or that you cannot be an expert on multiple fields.
If you are clear about your “why” then your “how” and your “what” will be stated and exploited perfectly using your diverse educational and professional background.
I strongly believe that the “age of specialization on one topic” is broken. This reality belongs to the past.
This “new” age we are living in stimulates and calls for interrelated, focused actions and has the need of multi-disciplinary professionals that can see the big picture and can provide their services in many different fields.
Furthermore, I’ m a proponent of multi-skilled people because they have a broader view of reality, they can understand, feel deeply and finally help to redesign our world based on their “why”!!!
Of course, one could argue that one person cannot be so good in many fields-he/she will miss something. Others could say that all the people don’t want and cannot be focused in many disciplines at the same time.
OK. I will agree with them. And now it’s time to go back to our “why”. If we find out our “why” then we have to clear out our “how”. At this stage we could hierarchically put our expertise in accordance to what we love and what we want to accomplish. Then, let’s keep our first three expertises and try to interrelate them in a way that will lead us produce extraordinary products/services meeting our “why”.
Let’s make it more specific.
Lately, as a PMP I tried to put on a paper my personal life program and do my “personal program charter” in order to achieve my “why”. I ended up with a series of interrelated projects such as writing some books on different themes (eg. Conservation of biodiversity), providing workshops on several topics (eg. Innovative tools for business development-gamification) and much more. One could say “there is no relationship between biodiversity and gamification. You have to stay “tuned” to your primary academic expertise and give lessons for that”.
But what if I am a multi-tasking person, an innovator, having been focused on three certain disciplines, which I can interrelate and use “elements” by them in delivering each one of them and at the same time this way I am serving my “why”????
If I don’t act and react this way I will be faced with my intrinsic voice, with the very basic “rule” of natural evolution which is “things change” and we have to follow this pattern. This is the revolution to evolution!!!!
Recently I studied the Science of Self-organized Criticality which explains how nature works. Taking this science into consideration we can explain why we like to do certain things now and after let’s say one or two or ten years we “change” and want to make a turn. In this turn what we have learnt is applied and we step up to something new using every single “lesson” of our lives. This is the way of climbing towards mastery!!! This is the game of life!!!
You see? I have already made an interrelation between my primary academic knowledge which is agriculture/how nature works and the scientific discipline of Gamification. Gamification has to do with “engagement loops”….as nature does. This is a journey. And as gamification expert I think that I will be much more effective and successful deploying “norms” and “laws” of nature for providing gamification knowledge via my workshops.
And all come up to my “why” which is “helping”, “inspiring” people to live a life in a state of well-being. And well-being has everything to do with living a better life at all levels of our everyday life, at all levels of our existence.
So, let’s try to avoid the strict labels and let’s be open to diversification!!! This is the future!!! This is the game!!!! Don’t be afraid to express yourself, change your professional focus/career and do what you really love!!! This is the only way of being successful!!!!
Dimitra Zervaki, EMBA, PMP