The job of an expert

A friend of mine was recently telling me he was shocked when his doctor Googled something in front of him.

I have to say I kind of respected it. Why shouldn’t she be on Google? I don’t expect her to know more than the internet about every symptom and every condition. Also, she showed a level of confidence … she doesn’t need to impress anyone.

I think it points to the evolving role of an expert. Once upon a time an expert needed knowledge. Needed information. You went to the doctor because she knows what a set of symptoms mean.

Not anymore. We all have access to way more information than we can ever deal with.

Today, the job of an expert is to be relevant, meaningful and engaging. To make sense of all the information in a field, and put it together in a way that solves my problems. To add some meaning to it so I understand. And to make it interesting enough for me to engage.

Which is actually a relief if you’re making a living as an expert (AKA a thought leader). Your job is not to revolutionise your field. Be across it. Then add your perspective, or your extension, to the thinking.