There's a post today over at Serendipity Book asking "Is creative generalism the answer?"

Well, let me answer that question.

It isn't.

In fact the idea enrages me so much that every time it pops up I feel the need to reach for a hammer, like I'm playing a blogging version of whack-a-mole.

If you want to know more about this accursed theory - which is godless, anti-capitalist, and contrary to all good sense - then Rusell Davies has written about it here and here. There's even a whole website dedicated to its evil.

Here's my Top 5 reasons why Specialism is better than Generalism.

1. You go ahead and try to staff an agency with generalists. There just aren't enough of them out there. Think of it like football. How many players can defend, create goals, and score goals? Not many. Johann Cruyff maybe, but that's about it.



2. Great advertising requires different skills - creative, strategic, inter-personal. How often do you find lots of all of these in the same person? Not often. For example, who is creative and organised? Not me. I've just basically made the same point twice in a row.

3. You need different personality types too. Take the Enterprise. They had Spock, Bones, Kirk and Scotty. Ah, now that would be quite an agency line-up, wouldn't it?

4. The advantages of specialisation are well known. It's been over 200 years now since Adam Smith showed how "the main cause of prosperity... is increasing division of labor." Don't these people ever learn?

5. Let's get hypothetical. Here's my team of specialists - Johnny Hornby (CEO), Paul Feldwick (Head of Planning), Richard Flintham (ECD). Could anyone put up a team of three generalists, that would make a better agency than HFF? I doubt it.

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