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The Neo-Generalist: Where You Go is Who You Are Paperback – 22 Sep 2016
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“This thought-provoking book will challenge you to rethink how specialists and generalists add value in society. Kenneth Mikkelsen and Richard Martin draw on stories from multiple disciplines and cultures – from business to art and science to sport – to explain why we need people who live in more than one world to shape our future.”
- Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of ORIGINALS and GIVE AND TAKE
“Neo-Generalists are people who are able to find connections across fields, to continuously learn specialties and apply their learnings across disciplines. The book chronicles the stories and insights of successful neo-generalists, and their own journeys of mastering new industries and combinatorial fields. A fascinating read for leaders in education and business who want to understand what distinguishes the high-achievers of tomorrow.”
- Marina Gorbis, Executive Director at the Institute for the Future and author of The Nature of the Future
“I love this book! Neo-Generalists where have you been all my life? Kenneth Mikkelsen and Richard Martin have given vernacular, shape and analysis to a mindset that has always been important, but never truly embraced in our world of educating and working towards the ‘either/or’ instead of the ‘yes/and’ stance. As a hybrid thinker, I thoroughly appreciate the research, stories and new questions posed in this very important treatise. The Neo-Generalist gives a range of professionals the tools to better navigate ambiguity. Well done.”
- Natalie Nixon, PhD, Author of Strategic Design Thinking. Professor and Principal at Figure 8 Thinking
“The Neo-Generalist is a very different book. A must read for business executives and mangers that face the daily challenges of failed projects due to hyperspecialization and organizational silos. The Neo-Generalist heralds a new era of smart thinking books. In a though-provoking way it challenges us to re-evaluate traditional career trajectories and consider what it means to live, learn and lead in the 21st century. Highly recommend reading.”
- Henrik von Scheel, Author, CEO & Co-founder of LEADing Practice.
Board Member Google EMEA, Gazprom, Global University Alliance and Capital Investment
“The Neo-Generalist takes the reader on a challenging journey, as it is not a management book nor a novel. It exposes a wide array of elements that are important for the deeper understanding of a world where our generalist foundation is being eroded by hyper-specialization. Based on interviews and references it takes us in many stimulating places. It reminds us that questions relating science, business, economics and society cannot be dealt with in a meaningful way if the only vantage point is the discipline itself. Making the world a better place, as many in today’s business community claim as their purpose, requires a perspective beyond economic outcomes, consumer convenience and material well-being.”
- Dr. Richard Straub, Founder and President of the Peter Drucker Society Europe. Member of the Executive Management team of the European Foundation for Management Development
“A neo-generalist is somewhere between a polymath and a hyperspecialist. One metaphor used by the authors of The Neo-Generalist is ‘frequency hopping’, wandering, accumulating, sampling, mixing, and putting into practice what they learn. Kenneth Mikkelsen and Richard Martin have written a book that defies the formula of most business and management books. Instead of one or two easily understood ideas, they offer a cornucopia of ideas, perspectives, and opinions. Not only was this book a pleasure to read, it expanded my knowledge on a variety of subjects.”
- Harold Jarche, International consultant and speaker. Author of the Perpetual Beta book series
“Kenneth Mikkelsen and Richard Martin have written an engaging and panoramic meditation on a little-discussed class of professionals with meta-skills; people whose approach to life is fluid and flexible, and who can effortlessly cross boundaries in a manner which allows them to respond in more creative and responsive ways to the urgent and complex problems we are facing today. I can strongly recommend The Neo-Generalist both to those people considering the next steps in their career, and to organizations who wish to evolve their businesses through a new form of transformational leadership who are fully able to navigate change and help those around them reach their fullest potential.”
- Simon Robinson, Founder of Holonomics Education. Author of Holonomics: Business Where People and Planet Matter
“Do you struggle to define what you do in a few words? Do labels fall short of defining you? Do you find yourself wondering where you will fit in tomorrow's labor force? The Neo-Generalist by Kenneth Mikkelsen and Richard Martin offers a helpful new perspective for managing ambiguity in the workplace. With stories and examples from various fields, they give a set of tools for organizations, managers, and leaders to fluidly navigate today's world.”
- Hala Hanna, Policy and Strategy Advisor
"In The Neo-Generalist, Kenneth Mikkelsen and Richard Martin take us for a meandering walk from one domain to another, through real stories of people who have not only glided across the boundaries in the world of knowledge but also acted on them to bring about meaningful change in the world. The book itself is evolving work, the promising neo of the neo-generalist helps us see, make sense and share the potential of an interdisciplinary approach to life and learning. It epitomizes the spirit of the explorer, one that relentlessly discovers the world and creates it in the process. A treat for the curious minds for whom playing with boundaries is the norm, not exception."
- Khuyen Bui Gia, Learner, Writer and Winner of the 2015 Global Peter Drucker Essay Challenge
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
We need people who do have deep expertise in one or more areas, but who can also connect disciplines and see across the divisions that specialization creates. Neo-generalist.
I applaud this book for naming an important new area we should all take into account. It has many implications for education, training, recruiting and beyond.