As the age of specialisation dawned, specialists gained in prominence. Undeniably, it brought human civilisation to where we are today. It’s not that generalists where not doing their bit in this progress story, it’s just that they were completely overshadowed by the overwhelming presence of the specialists. All civilisations have an adage, which denigrates whosoever tries to master many trades or converges multifarious learning to one task. Polymaths existed but never studied from this angle. Of the 20 most significant scientists in history, 15 have been polymaths.
”A polymath is a person whose expertise spans significant number of different subject areas – such as a person is known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems.” In modern management parlance he is called the integrator. This is the T Model; the horizontal depicting the knowledge & skills emanating out of learning across domains & the perpendicular is the capability of a Sutradhar, the knack of making things happen. This is no abstraction, it is the successful working model of the day. This type of generalist the world needs to move on to the next stage. The founders of the five largest companies belong to this ilk; Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, Larry Page & Jeff Bezos.
With serial entrepreneurs like Elon Musk & Richard Branson ruling the roost, for the first time research on success, is revolving around polymaths. We live in an interdisciplinary & multidisciplinary world, collaboration of knowledge has to happen in one mind: learning on a dynamic level is essential. They take to learning & knowledge, as fish takes to water. They are not compartmentalised & have following across board. Who else can succeed in the Exponential Age?
Old mindsets have to broken down. Specialists can certainly take us to a level but the final heroes would be the polymaths. Having the natural advantage they are most equipped to seize the opportunity.
ONLY A POLYMATH CAN MATCH UP TO THE MULTIFARIOUS LEARNING REQUIREMENTS OF TODAY.