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Cake and Wine: Exploring the Value of Networkers and Creative Generalists

Not all networkers are creative generalists, and vice versa. However, both networkers and creative generalists bring added value to your organization or project team. In order to foster inclusivity and innovation, it is essential to have individuals who can bridge gaps and maintain a broad perspective.

By assembling a team that combines generalists and specialists, we enhance our readiness to make a difference in our rapidly changing world. Often, we hold certain biases when it comes to individuals with non-linear career paths. Despite living in a society that highly values specialization and encourages us to excel in one specific field, I believe times are changing, and having diverse knowledge and interests can be advantageous.

This is one of the reasons why I decided to share my experiences as a "slasher" in a book. Leaders who embody both creativity and networking skills are often successful in providing the much-needed cohesion within an organization.

In observing how politics operate, compromises are often sought. However, I believe in exploring a third alternative. Rather than dividing the metaphorical cake, there are better approaches that align with a sharing economy.

Consider the unpleasant taste when diluting a glass of good wine with water. Similarly, before embarking on the cake-baking process, it is crucial to engage in discussions with the team, embrace new ingredients, and create a cake that has never been made before. Opting for the third alternative becomes paramount when faced with individuals holding different opinions.

A creative generalist often excels as a mediator, particularly when addressing unforeseen incidents or urgent problems. They can shed light on situations from various angles, acting as an invaluable resource.

Authentic networkers, for a time, set aside their own agendas and goals. They actively listen to others, perceiving unasked questions and contemplating how they can be of assistance to people within their immediate or broader circles.

I have encountered excellent networkers who are specialists and creative generalists who struggle in networking. However, I thoroughly enjoy the company of creative generalists who excel as networkers while indulging in cake and wine.

This is a blog post by Suyin Aerts. With the code sbgeneralist10 we offer our readers a 10% discount on her book, Tijd voor de creatieve generalist. The code is only valid through the Lannoo/LannooCampus webshop until 30/09/2023. The code cannot be combined with other promotions and discount codes.

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