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The Cargo Cult of Business » Listening to Experts

Listening to Experts

Published on 26 Sep 2007 at 10:44 pm | 2 Comments | Trackback
Filed under The Cargo Cults of Business.

A friend of mine is a registered dietician. To become one, she had to earn a four-year degree in a curriculum long on science subjects. By the dint of hard work and excellent grades, she was able to intern at a prestigious university hospital. She went on to earn advanced degrees in nutrition and exercise physiology, and has published several research papers.

As a result of her years of study, training, and experience, she gets to deal with patients who read a diet article in a magazine, or talked to someone who took a twelve-week course to be a "nutritionist".

She has chosen to leave the field. There’s no profit in arguing with fools.

Corporations frequently hire outside individuals or groups for their expertise. Getting the corporation to listen is more difficult. The expensive PR consultant drafts the press release, but everyone at the firm is a better writer and will edit the copy. 

There are dozens of examples like this. Here’s a hint, folks: if you hire an expert, let them do their job!  

<sigh> 

-- Oliver
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2 Responses to “Listening to Experts”

  1. Comment from John

    This applies to internal experts as well. I know many very highly skilled IT folks who dread interactions with “power users.”

    It’s unusual to hear of a case where a CIO or Director of Technology will attempt to interfere in the workings of say the accounting department or argue about the way sales calls are handled. The opposite is unfortunately not true; everyone who has read an article about wifi on MSN.com or PCWorld on Friday afternoon will be in the CEO’s office on Monday morning criticising the way the company wireless network is set up.

    I’m not in favor of blindly accepting authority or expertise, but I do think we owe each other a little respect.

  2. Comment from Salina Thacher

    Great article, thank you. I am very interested in finding a diet that lowers my sugar intake. I currently have a sweet-tooth, and am finding it difficult to find meal plans, what to eat for snacks, etc. While diabetes is not something that runs in my family, I am still concerned and would like to be smart and take a proactive approach to my health.

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