This topic contains 7 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Mike Walmsley 1 year, 4 months ago.
Through out the media, we often see certain professionals labeled as “experts.” But what does this term really mean? Does it result from a certification, vote of peers, media recognition or some other criteria? Where is the cross-over point between a practitioner and expert? Webster’s dictionary defines an expert as: “having, involving, or displaying special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience.” Just because someone has a special skill, does that mean they are an expert?
Nice musings. One quality of an expert is to know when to ask help of others. I have certain strengths and rely on others’ strengths to get me best results.
The mainstream media and news outlets are the last one to be able to label someone an “expert”. I can point to example after example of how they’ve botched that.
I’d also go out to say that specialized awards, like the ASQ awards or country-based awards are a “good old boy network” of you rub my back and I’ll rub yours. Gifts and assistance from one to another that’s reciprocated with an award.
I think it means a person who selflessly gives of her/himself over and over again, how does not need any recognition to feel self-worth, who always knows the right answers or where to find them (and bring in the appropriate people), who does not alienate anyone in an organization or in a company, who has successfully practiced and led breakthrough improvement in the past and can rely on those experiences to draw from, who deeply understands all the tools and how they fit together into a methodology to enact practical change, who can lead change by motivating others.
Just because a kid scores a perfect score on the SAT in math and verbal or straight As in college does not mean they will become experts in the workplace. A dictionary definition is too pedantic a view.
The easy answer is that you have cert. from a reputable certifying body and/or an advanced degree, plus a track record and references. But we’ve all known people who fail to do what their credentials say they should be able to do and we’ve all known people who perform wonderfully despite lack of credentials.
To expand on previous comments: My father taught me to do a great many things — carpentry, masonry, plumbing, wiring, automotive maintenance and much more. The most important thing he taught me was to have the wisdom and humility to recognize when I didn’t have the expertise and to consult or pay an “expert”, But how do I know that person has more expertise than I do? My father said, don’t ask him. Ask the people for whom he’s worked.
A six sigma expert is the one who has 3.4 defects in a million of his/her character opportunities :)
That made me literally chuckle out loud–so I guess it’s COL.