# Highlights:

  • Several conversations about volunteering & why people do it. Ideas for designing genuinely interesting volunteering opportunities that allow them to grow in their careers.
  • My little ray of sunshine 🙂

# Do you have personal stories or metaphors that can describe what it is to be a specialist or a generalist?

A common experience over the years has gone something like this: Get invited to a meeting as a specialist, individual contributor. Listen to a number of people talking about their own specialist domains. (feel like an impostor – why am I here, this deeply specialist discussion is well beyond my capabilities). Ask a “dumb question”. Realise that I’ve made the conversation stop, & the chair of the meeting raise the discussion multiple levels. I get asked to help reframe the topic of discussion, or to reframe the problem. Find myself being invited back as a cross-domain expert who can talk to multiple specialists/ groups. Find myself connecting multiple threads of conversations, and driving some of them myself. Get to a point of exhaustion, extricate myself. Rinse & repeat.

Today was a slightly different story. I ask a question about volunteering, & people’s motivation behind doing it. It was triggered by a sentence in Peter Drucker’s book, a chapter on how management in business must learn from management in not-for-profits. It’s triggered people’s stories and individual perspectives that will help someone (perhaps even me) to design a program or an initiative that taps into what John Hagel calls the passion of the explorer. I believe people, almost everyone, want to make a contribution to the world, to make a difference. It so happens that work is often not where they can also do that. My exploration has begun to find out if that is always true, or can small moves, smartly made, change this view of the world. I will be finding out.