Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

When expertise becomes an enemy of quality service 1 – a lesson about effective and ineffective communications and their consequences 1

Posted in career development, HR and personnel, job search, job search and career development by Timothy Platt on August 8, 2015

Anyone who has followed this blog and even just passingly, would already know that I see value in knowledge and in gaining expert levels of it. I, in fact offered a posting in that vein here just yesterday with The Importance of Learnable Lessons – cultivating the opportunity of mistakes. I offer this posting to in effect add some balance to that.

Hands-on technical and business process knowledge are important, and expert level knowledge and insight of these types can offer tremendous sustaining value; they are in fact essential for any business if it is to succeed to its full potential. But knowledge per se and even expertise are not and cannot be enough, in and of themselves.

• Knowledge and even overt expertise only gain value when they are brought to bear in the right context and in the right way.
• This applies whenever a professional works with or for any stakeholder, and whether that means working with outside customers, in-house stakeholders, or more senior members of management who they have to effectively report to. And even that list is incomplete, leaving out for instance, other outside stakeholders such as employees of supply chain partnership businesses, that an expert in-house employee would have to work with in facilitating these business-to-business relationships. A full list of significant points of professional contact here, would be fairly long.

Knowledge and expertise only hold actionable value when they are coupled with at least sufficient communications and interpersonal skills. A hands-on expert who cannot effectively communicate what they know and what that knowledge means in its business context, cannot make a meaningful difference as their knowledge and insight cannot be effectively acted upon.

I originally planned on writing this posting with at least something of a focus on Sales, and particularly for more complex technology products where Sales staff have to both know their product lines, and how to effectively communicate this knowledge to their customers – but only for the types and levels of detail that those customers actively seek and are ready to absorb.

• Over-communication and under-communication are equivalent in this. Both are miss-communication, and both represent communication failure where whoever is being communicated to, cannot readily identify and use the information that they immediately need from what they are offered.

At the risk of over-communicating here, I write this posting at least in part as a supplemental addition to a series that I offered earlier: Communicating More Effectively as a Job and Career Skill Set (which you can find at Guide to Effective Job Search and Career Development – 3 as its postings 342-358.) And I offer this as a first installment to a new short series, with a next installment soon to follow, which will continue this posting’s discussion of communications challenges.

You can find this and related postings at my Guide to Effective Job Search and Career Development – 3 (with this included as a supplemental posting there) and at the first directory page and second, continuation page to this Guide. Also see HR and Personnel and HR and Personnel – 2.

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