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Comprehensivism

Thoughts from an article by Lisa Baird published a year ago, "Want To Be More Productive And Creative? Collaborate Less":

... "I know it is ugly to say 'unicorn,' but yeah, you kinda do have to be the unicorn," [says Chris Noessel] ... the type of person whose professional expertise is both deep and wide in multiple subject areas ... somebody with vast experience in business, technology, and design ... "comprehensivists" ...

[But] the notion of a well-rounded comprehensivist working solo flies in the face of a work ethos that's been resolute about the need for collaboration for a generation or more ... comprehensivists' tendency toward whole-brain thinking, straddling art and science, introversion and extroversion, the tactical and the strategic ... a direct reaction to the ever-increasing burden and diminishing returns of collaborating ...

[Studies] found that a collaborative design process—where a bunch of specialists put their heads together to try to come up with innovation solutions—generally "reduced creativity due to the tendency to incrementally modify known successful designs rather than explore radically different and potentially superior ones." ...

[Though] you can't just employ only multidisciplinary "unicorns" and fire the rest of your staff. The answer more likely lies somewhere in the middle—and it starts not only with knowing when not to collaborate but also when to resist the urge to go solo ... at some point, projects become too large to manage without the use of teams ...

...instead of actually doing everything ... assist with anything. There's a subtle shift there for the comprehensivist. Varied and valuable skills are present in either case, but their application changes completely. "Being able to jam with one team for a short, intense period of time is really great, because it fills whatever gap the team has at the moment ..."

(cf. My Speciality (2002-07-28), ...) - ^z - 2017-10-28