Many, many years ago I bought a house with my then girlfriend. Like many older back-to-back terraced houses it needed some work doing, especially to the electrics.

I’m no electrician but I knew enough to know what I wanted and why. One ring main to cover the large cellar; one to cover the ground floor (kitchen and living room) and one for the first floor (bedroom) and attic. And a lighting circuit for the whole house. Lots of sockets on each floor as well because we all have so many things to plug in these days.

The way I’d planned it was that there wasn’t too much of a load on any single ring, and if a fuse blew and tripped the circuit breaker it would be easy to trace. If I was in any way confident about running large lengths of cable and wiring them up to the mains I might have tried it myself. I was young and foolish – but not that young or foolish, so I hired the services of a professional.

His plan was to put the cellar and kitchen on one ring main, the living room, first floor and attic on another as there was only space in the consumer fuse box for one lighting circuit and two rings.

“Buy a larger fuse box,” I said, after a long pause.

The bigger picture

The word of communications is split into generalists and specialists.

And yes, specialists – as the name implies – know their areas inside out (they should do, anyway). Having been a web specialist myself between 1994 and 2004 I know how that feels.

But one of the reasons I escaped being a specialist from 2004 onwards (and for a period between 1995 and 1997) was that I wanted to understand how what I did fitted into the ‘bigger picture’. How did my area work with other areas? How did it meet the strategic aims?

My electrician was an expert at what he did but the idea of buying a new consumer fuse box never occurred to him. He literally couldn’t think outside of the box.

Generalists aren’t experts in specific disciplines but we know enough of a range of disciplines – digital, internal, stakeholder, marketing, etc. – to see how they fit together. And because we understand in ‘layman’s terms’ we’re pretty good as well at explaining the complex specialist detail to other people and how it all creates an impact greater than the sum of the parts

Being a generalist is our specialism. That’s why you should hire us. We’re great.