A theme my company promoted this year was "Climb Higher." I like how the phrase evokes a challenge, we're scaling scenarios and reaching new heights. Maybe with all this work, I'll lose some of the "consultant gut" my technical account manager jokes about.
I'm ready to climb! But I also want to be sure we don't become victim to the "curse of expertise" by losing our audience. Should we chase expertise while ignoring what we already know and what we can individually contribute?
I'll Share When I'm an Expert...
I'm seeing this less among my immediate peers. Most share when they can and have ideas on what they'd like share. The challenge now is finding/making time or narrowing down topics (to which I point out you're already answering and helping customers all the time).
False Dichotomies...It wasn't until one of my colleagues admonished me to "never apologize for not being technical" (guess who gave those encouraging words) that I started noticing Tridion expertise isn't all or nothing. It's not even functional versus technical. There are so many aspects to content management, in general, that it's challenging to really know it all (my post on the seven places for markup hints at this).
The landscape looks more like this, which means there is a lot of room to share what you know that others might not know.
Don't Shrink the Ring of Online Expertise!
Combining the two ideas from above, inspired this visual. As we each progress in our careers and development, we may forget what was hard or challenging. We may never be satisfied on the autodidact's path, but you know people need what you know every time you get those same basic questions specific to your expertise.
Rather than waiting to share deep knowledge and expertise when you're ready, maybe it makes sense to start from where we are? Or even better, start from where your audience needs you?
Climb Higher by Making the Climb Easier
So rather than just climbing higher, let's leave hints and guide posts behind for those that follow our paths. Or better yet, let's construct the easy paths ourselves and that we wished we had when we started.
These cartoons were inspired by Dan Roam's Back of the Napkin (I know I should have done drawings instead), which was mentioned in The Art of Explanation (another excellent, recommended read). I'm using the SDL Buddy as a stand-in proxy for Tridionauts (Tridion practitioners), but any icon representing a member in your community will do.