So what does this mean for us who lead groups and organizations? How might we make more use of our own experts - and what might be some of the pitfalls? Here's my thoughts:
- Consider who on your team has an expertise - and invite them to share that with your group
- Realize that part of the expertise is more than just knowledge - our expert, Carl Trovall, also has the ability to speak in an engaging way - and that was actually a part of his expertise
- Expertise should be encouraged and developed - how are you investing in your people for them to become your resident expert?
- Encourage your resident experts to go 50 miles or more away so they can practice being that expert outside of your own organization
- Brag about your experts to others - both within and outside of the organization. Let their expertise become known to others.
- Becoming an expert requires practice - let your own experts practice in front of you...and give them the grace to fail the first few times they engage
- One of the pitfalls of the inside expert is their inability to speak truth to their peers - create a safe environment for that to happen on some level
- Outside experts can help hold us accountable to action plans (because we have spent money on them). Build a similar culture of accountability within your organization so that inside experts can do the same
- Just as you would pay an expert who traveled 50 miles or more to your site, find a way to reward your inside expert - it could be remuneration, it could be a gift card, it could be time off, it could be additional resources, and it SHOULD be a note of thanks from your and others
Who are your inside experts - go to them today, tell them you consider them to be that, and put them in a position make it a reality sooner rather than later.