Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Future of Value, Generalist Edition

As previously noted, there are two characteristics of people who will be especially valuable economically in the future: they have specialized in a unique combination of areas. The more exclusively one is able to do certain things of value, the higher one's income potential.

There are times when the opposite of exclusivity is valuable. In these the generalist thrives.

Education is inherently seeking to include people in a realm of knowledge in which they were not included previously. Evangelism is specifically about proclaiming the Gospel to broadly include as many different people as possible into the Body of Christ. While both employ a specific combination of skills, both of those endeavors aim to reach a broad range of people.

Specialists are most valuable to others when they are hired for their skills to help an employer reach a mass market. For instance, people who know the inner workings of a power plant or data center. Generalists are most valuable when the diversity of their direct interactions with others is at its highest.

To use Malcolm Gladwell's construct from The Tipping Point, specialists are mavens, and generalists are salesmen and connectors.

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