Life rewards expertise. Judges earn more than factory workers (mostly), society respects experts (we award them AO’s and AM’s simply for doing their job) and it appears to make sense to seek out experts to solve your problems – who wants to use GP, when you can have the ophthalmologist look at your eye problem. Universities market expertise as the secret to success, and it appears they are right for individual careers.
However the question is: are experts good for society as a whole, and your business?
Problem 1 – Experts are very good at arguing their point of view. If you knew what they do, it would be unlikely that you would speak to them. However the same thing that makes them have value (the knowledge imbalance) is the same thing that makes them dangerous. You see if you don’t understand their field, how can you judge whether they are giving you the best answer, let alone understand their argument?
Problem 2 – Experts specialise. which means they learn more and more about less and less – and as they saying goes “eventually they know everything about nothing”. Their point of view is inherently biased. And the more expertise they have, the more their point of view is biased.
So why is this a real problem? Continue reading I vote for the generalist