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A Generalist-Specialist indicate or describe a person's ability to use and apply his/her field of expertise (i.e. his/her specialty) within a wide range or relevant situations, circumstances or events (i.e. being a generalist) as required by that specific circumstances and context. Thus, indicating NOT to be restricted to a specific area of functioning (expertise) alone. Therefore, generalist-specialist is the ability to establish and maintain a positive interdependent functioning and valued contribution within any group, regardless the diversities of its members. Being a generalist-Specialist also imply or refer to the efficient transferability of skills.

For example...
Constructing a bridge over a river, requires a specific combination of people (also know as a project team), consisting of various specialist areas to execute a variety of tasks and functions in their strive to achieve a synergistic goal.
  • Pre-planning phase: A surveyor to determine coordinates and alignment of the bridge over the river and provide his information to the project leader, that in turn relay the information to the rest of the people involved.
  • Planning phase: Civil engineer to plan the foundation and plan the preparation of the area for construction. A Structural engineer to design the bridge and a Geo Technician to tests the area and determine ground and bridge foundation strengths.
  • Execution phase: Contractor which coordinate piling, shuttering steel, concrete casters, bridge bearing, pre-stressing and curing of concrete specialists or specialists teams.
  • Managing and coordinating: Civil engineer and Structural engineer to control specifications, quantity surveyor to determine pay out amounts and financial administrator to make pay-outs.
Based on the above example, you should be able to observe that a number of specialist must cooperate and contribute their respective skill (surveying, engineering, construction, financial, ...etc.) to achieve a specific goal (e.g. build a bridge). Each are required to except responsibility for his/her particular function, BUT should execute his/her task within the parameters of group accountability and the synergistic goal to build and complete the bridge as quickly and as cost efficiently as possible. The concept or principle of generalist-specialist - today - is widely applicable for all kinds of activities that we undertake to accomplish something worthwhile - both in our personal and professional life - and which is intimately linked to the independent-team player concept.

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