I lived in a land of experts for many years. I was working at think tanks such as the Carnegie Council, Council on Foreign Relations, World Bank, UN, and the world of philanthropy. These organizations are rooted in expertise. People go there to find answers. They go there to seek direction. But whensomeone is given the label of an expert –it often comes with an accompanying fear of not being able to expose what you don’t know. Or publicly acknowledge what questions you haven’t answered or that you are struggling with. Because at the end of the day, you’re the “expert”. It is easy to hide behind these titles.
Expertise is important. We cannot simply take a superficial approach to given problems and issues. But we need experts, scholars, and leaders to acknowledge what they don’t know. To see answers in others. To see that each person is an expert in their own experience. To explore collaborative processes in identifying a solution.
People are not satisfied anymore with people who think they have all the answers. Because with the internet – we know increasingly that that is impossible. The questions people ask reveal who are the real experts.