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Tech Omnivore or Tech Carnivore: which one does your digital transformation really need?

When I first started my career, I used to think of ‘tech’ as a sector. But in today’s complex world, technology leaves no business or individual untouched.

Recent disruptions and major shifts in business have all resulted from impactful technology innovation. Video streaming for example disrupted the cable industry and led to the demise of video rental companies. Simple tools have had the power to revolutionise political arenas (Twitter and Trump), unlock creativity (Kickstarter and Pebble Time smartwatch) and transform the way we work (Remote working and Zoom).

Clearly, technology does not specialise. So a successful transformation journey should foster range, open-mindedness and flexibility.

Specialisation: a proven, popular and star-studded path?

When someone says “hone your craft”, the subtext is that the more you practice and specialise the more successful you will be.

Sometimes, focusing on one particular field can reap the best rewards, like athletes who dedicate their careers to one specific sport. Tiger Woods’s determination in the field of golf, for example, has made him the most successful player in the sport.

You can see the benefit of specialisation in other environments too. You wouldn’t want a physio performing a hip replacement for example. However, as our modern minds become better at understanding a range of topics and making connections between ideas, a narrow focus can instead hinder progress and innovation.

In his book “Range”, David Epstein mentions a study that stuck with me. In 2015, Dr. Anupam Jena of Harvard Medical School found that patients with cardiac arrest or heart failure were less likely to die if they were admitted to hospital while top cardiologists were away.

To be clear, the more focused a doctor was on a particular kind of procedure, the less likely they were to look at the bigger picture and other influencing factors that brought the patient into hospital that day.

Failing to see things from a broad perspective, and being more open-minded, led to poor decision-making and for some, it was the difference between life and death.

Tech solutions “outside the box”

When it comes to tech, it’s generalists, not specialists who are primed to excel. Whilst of course every tech company will have subject matter experts, to deliver excellence at the pace the way that industries are advancing, you need an expert and adaptable team. As the COO at Geeks, I have directly worked with various business leaders on hundreds of transformation programmes and projects. And whilst project requirements always differ, the benefits to the business that are achieved from problem-solving “outside the box” is unanimous. The main advantages are:

1. Innovation

Acquiring a breadth of experience and knowledge enables you to make creative connections and find innovative, more impactful solutions.

2. High Standards

Experts often judge their own fields more narrowly, meaning that they’re more likely to make the same decisions, rather than embracing further testing and new methods that lead to superstar outcomes.

3. Agility

The best solutions are adaptable, tailored and creative. Generalists can think outside the box to make changes while staying agile.

The Unbeaten Path

The challenges that our clients come to Geeks with require solutions with flexibility and creativity in abundance. Our years of experience running efficient and impactful partnerships across multiple industries and business sizes, has created a generalist culture that is integral to the way we work. We constantly test new technologies and are dedicated to challenging the status quo.

If you are still questioning whether your transformation will be better off with a generalist approach, then take a further look at Tiger Woods. Not just a golfing legend but an entrepreneur and philanthropist with ventures in design, product development and hospitality, he took his sporting excellence and work ethic to create cross-industry success.

The successful transformation journey comes down to choosing a digital transformation expert like Geeks that has a strong heritage in embracing diversity and understands the power of being a generalist and how industry variation can benefit you, their partner.