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Harvard researcher shares key skill of the future-that most people don't have

Being a generalist

To be a generalist, zoom out and pay more attention to the context in which you're making decisions.

  • Think bigger and wider than you usually would. Read the whole paper, not just the part that pertains to your industry. Study the dynamics affecting your sector. If you are a finance professional, read a book on marketing.
  • Take the time to consider how seemingly unrelated developments are connected and may impact each other.

Because generalists have a broader set of tools to draw from, they can dynamically adjust their course.

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Harvard researcher shares key skill of the future-that most people don't have

Harvard researcher shares key skill of the future-that most people don't have

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/15/harvard-yale-researcher-future-success-is-not-a-specific-skill-its-a-type-of-thinking.html

cnbc.com

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Key Ideas

Future career logic

The most important career logic of the past is becoming counterproductive. Many of us have been told the key to success was developing a specialization that allowed us to climb the professional ladder.

However, with the advancement in technology combined with increased uncertainty, the world is rapidly changing. In the future, being broad-minded is likely to be as important as expertise. The ability to connect the dots (generalists) is as important as the ability to make the dots (specialists).

The future belongs to generalists

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Breadth is gaining favor. To make it in today's world, it's essential to be agile and flexible.

It is not to say that deep expertise is useless. It is just that our world is changing so fast that those with more tools in their possession will better navigate the uncertainty.

Being a generalist

To be a generalist, zoom out and pay more attention to the context in which you're making decisions.

  • Think bigger and wider than you usually would. Read the whole paper, not just the part that pertains to your industry. Study the dynamics affecting your sector. If you are a finance professional, read a book on marketing.
  • Take the time to consider how seemingly unrelated developments are connected and may impact each other.

Because generalists have a broader set of tools to draw from, they can dynamically adjust their course.

Professional success for generalists

The advancement of artificial intelligence and technological innovation have commoditized information. Many companies now look for multi-functional experience when hiring, such as Google, who values problem-solvers over role-related knowledge.

If you're reasonably new to the workforce, manage your career around obtaining a diversity of geographic and functional experiences that will allow you to compete against those who are more focused on a specific skill.

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