Many fields of knowledge are evolving so rapidly that unless an expert aggressively updates their knowledge, they can quickly end up working with outmoded concepts and practices. Master Experts make a habit of Knowledge Seeking – which includes routine learning of adjacent fields – not only deepening their subject matter expertise in their technical field. They will want to keep abreast of industry trends and other related matters – otherwise, their authority can be eroded or their opinions out of date making the organisational vulnerable to better-informed competitors.
If experts don’t masterfully curate knowledge, this can create an over-dependence on the expert who tacitly hoards all knowledge in his/her head. Not only does curation allow others to access relevant information but it also reduces the dependency on the expert who might leave the organisation or “get hit by a bus” whereby all the information previously available (through the expert) is now lost.
Master Experts routinely produce new knowledge – thought leadership – to assist the organisation and its stakeholders in leading the way in terms of next practice rather than playing catch up to other organisations achieving competitive advantage by performing better in their thought leadership practices. Experts are often best positioned to stimulate such innovation as they are typically less caught up in the status quo. Experts who complacently rest on their laurels may be culpable for any unanticipated disruptions that adversely impact the organisation for want of effective thought leadership.
A failure to adequately knowledge share keeps experts overburdened, limits other stakeholders’ ability to exercise greater self-reliance, autonomy and initiative, and heightens the likelihood of single points of failure. Even when experts have the instinct to share knowledge, they often lack effective knowledge transfer skills – failing to stimulate others’ appetite to learn or providing practical and engaging learning resources or experiences.
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