First Thoughts on Medium and Neo-Generalism

Because I do not have a following on Medium, I feel a bit safer writing here. I can simply share words on a daily basis with very little expectation — from myself, mostly — that the words will hold much meaning or conform to a particular standard of quality.

For that reason, I will feel freer to use this platform to share a few thoughts each day. Nothing elaborate. Musings, nothing more.

As just one example, right now I might choose to share an insight from a book I read last night, the wonderful “The Neo-Generalist” by Kenneth Mikkelsen [a.k.a. @LeadershipABC ] and Richard Martin [a.k.a. @Indalogenesis]

Here’s a passage I really liked:

The neo-generalist pulls together the fragments, assembles the puzzle pieces, to establish the big picture. By inhabiting spaces in between different knowledge domains, they are capable of casting a wide net over multiple topics. They help others achieve clarity. (p. 95)

In contemporary society — in both social and business spheres — this ability to sift through seemingly disconnected fragments in order to extract a greater meaning of the whole is now extremely critical.

As a planet, more than ever we seem to be in the thick of one form of reactivity or another. As a result, there is no shortage of writers or commentators who are quick to provide interpretation that serves little purpose save to drive the already-extreme levels of polarization of our age.

What we need instead is clarity and meaning-making that eschews the impulse towards polarization and strives to find integration — an interweaving of disparate sources and influences that forms new types of meaning and knowledge.

Hence, Mikkelsen and Martin’s point that, more than ever, we need the neo-generalists because of their ability to “see the whole picture [and] step out of the frame” (p. 95).

We live in a time of incomplete, ill-fitting frames. Perhaps neo-generalists can help take a respite from our tendency toward knee-jerk reliance upon these narrow and incomplete narratives.

Perhaps, instead, the ne0-generalists Mikkelsen and Martin speak of can help guide us toward new ways of making meaning of where we have come and where we are going.