If specialization truly benefit society as a whole, we really have another practical problem. Sometimes, it is hard to divide up jobs because we like to be in control. I know that for me, I tend to attack any problem I have with a very specific plan. I’m okay adapting my plan as the situation changes, but I have a plan when I set out on solving a problem. I like to work that way.
I know that not everyone works in that way, so it can be hard to divide up the labor. Because we have different styles and how we work, it may be very true that specialization is ideal, but we need to somehow work together productively to reap those benefits.
How do we go about doing that?
I have learned a few things about this, and I can’t claim to be an expert, but I think that one of the ways that we can take advantage of other people’s different styles is by matching the task to the individual. By that, I mean that there are certain jobs that require a structured plan, and there are some jobs that do not. If I was opening a business, my accountants would be those types of planning people while my marketing team might not have to be. The task of accounting ought to be done by people who have skills like that while they might not actually have the creative thinking skills necessary to thrive in a marketing environment.
I don’t think that random chance is the right way to dictate who does what job. I think it is much more important to, within our creative endeavors, try to match people as best we can with what they are good at. That is of course consistent with any type of economic application of this principle. The benefits of specialization only works when people are specializing in something there are actually good at producing. Otherwise, there is inefficiency.
Therefore, we need to have some type of structure. Communities benefit from the free market, but it needs to be an informed free market. It needs to have some type of force driving it. In economics, we often times talk about the invisible hand, and that may work in the market because there is a financial incentive. In our creative endeavors, I don’t know that there’s always that same type of persuasive incentive, so sometimes we need that driving force to help organize all of our efforts and keep people moving together.
Without the shared direction and vision, I don’t know that there is enough of a natural incentive to have the market work in the way that it does in terms of economics.
Therefore, as you work on your own endeavors and realize that people have different talents and abilities, don’t forget to keep in mind that we need to put people in spots where they can thrive. If you take advantage of what people are great at, he will be successful. You can’t always just let this type of “market” play itself out.