What do we need- Specialists or Generalists!

Today I am making my submission on the #IndiSpire prompt, which says-

Would you rather be a specialist or a generalist? Future society will need more specialists or polymaths? Your thoughts on this debate which is going on since ‘Philosophy’ branched out to know more and more about less and less. #SpecialistVsGeneralist

While thinking on this subject I remember some incidents of my service life, which got completed 10 yrs back. In the initial years of my service, I also worked with All India Radio, Jaipur.  There are producers or program executives, who know a little bit of everything needed for producing a good program. They engage actors or talkers, whatever type of program they are going to produce and get whatever they need through the artist they engage for it.

There were many instrumentalists, singers in the staff, who can be called experts in a field but they did not produce programs but worked under the directions of some program executive, who was nowhere near them as an artist.

I came to know regarding many film and TV artists, who had worked there as regular or casual artists. One them I would like to mention is Mr. Asrani, who was engaged there as a casual artist and his nickname was ‘Chonch’.

I remember the instance of a very nice person and artist, now I am forgetting his name. He produced many good drama programs for Radio which got awarded and he had earned a great name. With time he became Asst. Station Director and then Director. I remember what he said once was that ‘I proved to be creative artist, got recognition as such and as a prize for that you are removing me from the work I loved the most and now I have to sanction leaves of people, work on files and remain away from the work I loved the most’.

There could be some fields of work where a person may cover every aspect of work and there are many such also that need compartmentalization. I remember when I was working in Vindhyachal Power project of NTPC, which was established with Russian equipments and many Russian experts were there for guidance during initial years. We at that time found that, say for boiler work, our engineer in boiler area knew almost about every aspect of boiler but the Russians had experts based on various divisions in that also. I gave a general example of what our engineers had to face, firstly language problem was there and then one that they had to consult different Russian experts for different functions, for resolving a single problem.

I feel that there can’t be a general rule for every field. It is good if we can handle every field of some activity, with complete knowledge and full authority. But wherever required we may divide the areas of expertise, like in today’s world there can’t be a single doctor working on all type of ailments and health problems. So it could be a comfortable mix of specialists and generalists, depending the fields and requirements.

That’s all I would like to submit on this subject.

Thanks for reading.