The Dilemma of Specialisation

The Dilemma of Specialisation

Today, more than ever, business requires specialists. The three pillars of an enterprise of Production, Administration and Marketing need the input of individuals very skilled at specific roles. Our teams are made up of individuals with expertise in often very narrow fields of knowledge. Any discussion with an IT person will be evidence of this. Our tertiary education system supports this specialisation as students focus their study on increasingly specific fields of expertise.

So what is the dilemma? We need specialists but they don’t understand the business! The dilemma for Management is how can we ensure our specialists have a broader “helicopter view” of our business. How can we ensure that our specialists have an appreciation and understanding of the perception of other specialists in our business? We all understand that different teams do have different perceptions. When a customer makes a solid sales inquiry the sales team think “we have a sale”, the finance team think “its only a sale when the money is in the bank account”. Different specialists, different perceptions.

Is perception important? Imagine a Ferris wheel. Which way does it rotate? Clockwise or anti- clockwise? Of course both clockwise and anti-clockwise are correct….it depends on where you are standing! Two opposite opinions…both 100% correct! Perhaps in our business the opinions of Production, the opinions of Administration, the opinions of Marketing are vastly different….but all may be correct! Those arguments between Finance and Marketing may be intractable…because both are right!

What tool can Management use to enable specialists to see business from another perspective? Imagine if your IT team could think like the Marketing team. Imagine if your Production team could think like the Finance team. Imagine if everybody in your business thought like the CEO and understood the drivers of business success and how each specialist area contributes to that success! The best way to enable specialists to think like and to understand the role, perception and contribution of other specialists is to have them “walk in their shoes”. The Income Outcome business simulation is a most effective tool for specialists to do this. A key outcome of an Income Outcome session is that your experts will appreciate the perception of other specialists roles in a business. As a production manager said at the conclusion of one Income Outcome session….”now I understand what those finance guys are always on about”.

Barry Johnson

Income Outcome Australia