Specialist vs Versatilists

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N 年前 AM上過一個有關管理學的 Seminar , 講有關管理者多元發展的趨勢 –  Versatilists 我稱它為 “通才” 吧 老實講當時的我功力有限 , 好多理論都只是一知半解 , 真正吸收到的不到三成 , 但經過這麼多年的工作歷練 , 越來越發覺它的理論頗為有用。 這幾天無意中整理家居時 , 俾我摷番當時的一份筆記 , 藉機同大家分享一吓。

九七金融風暴到前排的金融海嘯 , 大公司裁員滾滾人心惶惶 , 好多人都面對失業的威脅 , 而兩次裁員潮中不但中低層受害 , 連帶一些專業人士亦無可幸免。 而被裁的專業人士揾工時卻面對更大困難 , 專才好像失去了市場的優勢 , 究竟在發生什麼事呢?

社會發展由八九十年代崇尚專才” , 到現在則要變為通才 Thomas L Friedman “The World is Flat”一書中 , 描述了在社會的大趨勢。

在現今資訊發達迅息萬變的世界裡 , 人的適應能力比任何能力變得更加重要 ,專才往往執着於自己的專業範籌 , 思想受框框限制變得保守 , 無咁識轉彎 , 若再加上 成先敗後的教訓 中所描述的一些心態 , 可說是命他們處於不利形勢。 通才的人對事物的應能力較強可以很快去調整自己 ; 現今社會要求 Multi Task 多材多藝 , 十八般武藝樣樣皆能無疑比較吃香及 Crisis Proof

維基百科用一個數學去解釋 Versatilists  :

To illustrate this using a math phrase, the versatilist has a higher area under the curve rating. Think of a person having some level of knowledge/experience in 15 knowledge areas. That person may have a very high competency (score 5) in 3 areas, a medium level of competency (score 3) in 5 areas an introductory level of competency (score 1) in 4 areas and no competency (score 0) in 3 areas. This creates an area under the curve of 34. This is different from a specialist who may score very high in 1 area and have no competency in others. This is also different from a generalist who may score a 1 or 3 in every area. This breadth of knowledge and experience is what enables faster changes to other roles.

通材的價值在於他們能將知識像不同烹飪材料般作自由組合 , 例如:

得單一材料 A , 就只得一種組合 A

兩種材料 A , B 就有 A, B, A+B

三種材料 A, B, C 就有 : A, B, C, AB, AC, BC, ABC

當市埸或工作環境在改變時 , 通才就會好彈性咁去組合他們的知識能力去尋找解決方法 若大家有投資的話都一定明白不要將你所有的蛋放在一個籃內分散風險的道理 , 而通才亦是有同樣的保險功能。

要知道自己是否一個Versatilists , 下列有個 Check List:

1.        An ability to work well with others in a variety of settings.

2.        A desire to do tasks better than they have to be done.

3.        An interest in reading a wide variety of materials.

4.        A willingness to cope with conflict and adapt to change.

5.        An awareness of accounting, finance, and marketing fundamentals.

6.        A knowledge of technology and computer software as well as basic Web site design and e-commerce skills.

7.        An ability to solve problems creatively in team settings.

8.        A knowledge of research techniques and library resources.

9.        Well-developed written and oral communication skills.

10.    An understanding of both their own motivations and the motivations of others.

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Versatilists 並非 Overnight 可做出來 , 咁點去發展呢?

1. 早學早享受

在投資的角度來說 , 越早學會投資越着數 , 當然我所指的投資並非單指金錢上的而是學識興趣方面的 進修是一種投資 , 但好多人只會專注在對職業有関的範籌 , 這只會令你步向專才 , 反而去學一些對職業不太直接的 Side Knowledge , 向橫發展的那才叫通才。 可能會有人問你會否在浪費時間去學一啲唔等使的東西 , 我的見解是書到用時方恨少 , 只要時機一到呢啲看似無用的石頭 (知識) 可能會變成鑽石也不奇。

2. 先要知己

有一樣我要特別強調的是我們首先要建立自己的基礎能力 , 正如廚師如果基本功唔夠俾乜材料你都無用 , 所以一定要清楚明白自己的基礎能力是什麼 , 勤加操練 , 能力迎刃有餘時就學習新技術 , 咁才能發揮組合的最大效果。

3. 加入能力組件

世界咁大又無可能樣樣都去學 , 但點先至 Effective ? 舉個例子一位西廚 , 他的基本能力是廚藝 , 除了發展傳统的廚藝外 , 亦可擴大到採購、食物衛生、不同国家食材選配 , 而他亦可同時發展人際管理投巧、科技資訊、市場 Marketing 去增加組合的彈性 大家在傳播媒體上見到很多名廚其實就是一個多元組合的例子。

4. 留意市場動向

科技的發展將好多舊有行業淘汰了這是市場進步的定律 , 可能大家未必想做一個通材 , 但最低限度能保住飯碗而不被淘汰 , 所以自身要有一種危機感 , 想像一吓五年後自己會怎樣若發覺自己所做的行業日潮萎縮 , 就要開始有所準備後路。 切記寧失一子 , 莫失一先” , 不要坐以待弊。 舉例廚師發覺潮流興健康菜式 , 他就要慢慢去改變去適應這個潮流 , 同樣道理。

通才的興趣十分廣泛 , 上知天文下知地理 , 可是一本活动百科全書通天曉 , 大家好容易揾到這類人。 而通材最大的缺點是週身刀無把利 , Versatilists 變成  Generalists , 所以要做得成功 , 學習知識就一定不可半桶水而要學得深入 , 甚至到達某種半專業級數 , 而若要發揮最大威力 , 必須具有兩種能力:

1) Learning skills,

2) People skills

Learning Skills

時代進步社會不斷變遷 , 能快速地學習新事物永遠令你有更大優勢 , 而自强不息亦令你有更大的市場競爭力。下列我節錄了部分 Notes說明了如何提升 Learning Skills

1. Build curiosity

Curiosity is important if you want to be a good learner. If you are curious, you will be eager to learn and enjoy learning. You will naturally want to learn further and deeper than many other people. One way to build curiosity is to assume things to be interesting. Instead of labeling something as boring, find its interesting side.

2. Build questioning habit

Don’t just accept something as it is. Instead, dig deeper through its surface with questions. Asking why is perhaps the most important question you should ask because it allows you to question conventional wisdom and see things differently.

3. Build reading habit

While most people know that reading is important, only a few of them make reading a habit. Making reading a habit makes a lot of difference. By reading for just 1 hour a day, in one week you will already read for 7 hours if you do it consistently. Just imagine how much more people with reading habit will learn after 10 years.

4. Develop reading skills

While the quantity of your reading time is important (which is why you should make it a habit), its quality is also important. So you need to develop your reading skills. Good reading skills help you get the most out of your reading time by making it more effective and efficient.

5. Master research tools

Mastering research tools will help you find the answer of the questions you have. While most people can use tools like Google, only a few people master them. There are many tricks that only a few people know and these people have tremendous advantage in learning. They can find accurate answers to their questions in shorter time than other people.

People Skills

事業發展人脈網絡非常重要 , 家人、朋友、工作伙伴、商業拍檔 ……… 人的網絡越大就會有更大的 Value Exchange Mutual Benefit 機會。

1. Love people

First of all, you should love people. If you prefer not to meet people than meeting them, you are unlikely to have good people skills. Make it a joy to connect with others.

2. Put relationships on higher priority than tasks

There are so many tasks at hand that demand our attention. But, if you want to have good people skills, you should put relationships on higher priority.

3. Help others succeed

The law of networking remains the same: you should give first before you receive. Give genuinely without expecting something in return and you will later receive what you need.

4. Make other people feel important

People love to be appreciated and you can build strong relationships by making people feel important. Of course, you should do it in a genuine – not manipulative – way. People can sense your true motive.

5. Forget yourself for a moment

Doing all the above is difficult if your mind is consumed with yourself. When all you think is how to get something for yourself, there is only little space left for others. Free some space by forgetting yourself for a moment and use the space to think about others.

好多認識得我耐的朋友都會覺我是一個Versatilist的例子 , 而事實上當我做上述的 Check List時基本上十條有八九中 , 可能是自己性格使然吧!

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