Seeking out experts is invaluable when you need something built correctly or need help in troubleshooting why something isn’t working. The drawback to expertise is the same thing that makes them valuable; they know too much. Experts know what is possible and how things should work. This is a significant disadvantage when trying to come up with a new solution or out of the box idea. As the old saying goes, “when your only tool is a hammer all problems look like nails.”
This is why we have to bring in non-experts from time to time. It would be wonderful to get marketing insights from someone with an accounting background. I’m sure their point of view has not been considered before. They will probably have a lot of great questions as to why we do what we do. Alternatively, I would probably add value to them as well as I would approach accounting with a marketing mindset and be willing to challenge why they do things in a certain way. I love when someone starts a new job at a company and they come in full of ideas because they don’t know that “it’s always been done” a certain way yet. Eventually that goes away and they start to think like everyone else.
As we’ve seen in the Invisible Gorilla example, when you are focused on something, it is really difficult to notice everything else that is going on. Outsiders don’t understand the complexity involved or the limits we face and that is a good thing. They just want things to work. They think things should be simple. This challenges us to make something as intuitive as it seems in their mind. Experts are great but so are non-experts.