Opinion

Im No Expert 540X356 Lyd

Design

I’m no expert

October 9th, 2018

Last week we had a major logistics crisis at Little Yellow Duck.

Big client. Important meeting. Once in a lifetime opportunity.

But the problem was this: Client based on remote Hawaiian island. Only accessible by helicopter. Only one flight each day. Security absolutely top priority. No messing about.

Now I'm not a pilot, and nor is anyone on my team. Not much call for it in our line of work. But the client was very specific – must be a roundtable meeting with everyone involved in the project. They wanted to meet face-to-face with me and our Facebook Graphic Designer, our Visual UI Designer (Content-Heavy Web), our Ideation Expert and our Visual Image Developer.

Only two empty seats in the chopper though - what were we going to do?! This could potentially ruin our chances of working for MI6**. Then in a flash of genius befitting of a trusted Secret Intelligence Service confidant*, we solved it. Cracked the do-or-die puzzle with moments to spare. 

It was simple really – we just took a seat each.

Yes, because in my incredibly gripping story that just intrigued, baffled and delighted your socks off, all those designers were the same person. 

And in another shocking twist, there was no helicopter. Or Hawaiian client, or MI6 engagement. Yes! I made the whole thing up!

So while you pick your jaw off the floor having had your mind totally boggled, here's my (possibly quite unclear) point: I think we're getting too many ultra-specialists in the creative industry. 

Sure, we need experts, and when I want to understand something like GDPR or blockchain, that’s who I call on. But are things going too far? The ultra-niche specialist is king at the moment, and it’s killing off the generalist. Even those generalists who are incredibly well-read.

But in our knowledge-based economy, generalists are often best positioned when investing in transformative change. Because that’s what experience accumulated in multiple positions, industries and sectors does. It enables you to take advantage of knowledge beyond a company’s current domain and apply it. That’s why often the most innovative CEOs are generalists.

If you can find your niche and bring something truly unique to the table, then great, we'll definitely come knocking when we need you. But me, I'm sticking to ‘generalist’. Oh, alright then, ‘specialist generalist (Human)’.

Anyway, must crack on. This fictional MI6 project won't deliver itself... 


* Oops, pretend I didn't say that. Supposed to be classified. Hope they're not reading this. I'd be in big trouble.

** Damn. Done it again.