An Employee Workshop for Aspiring Experts

Unconventional Workshop 18

Gain Some Level of Mastery

Individual work-process – Bonus

1) Foster curiosity
2) Initiate activity
3) Gain relevant information
4) Discover possibilities
5) Strategize
6) Commit to a project
7) Create ideas
8) Realize ideas
9) Test ideas, find success or failure
10) Use failure as a platform for new and better ideas
11) Repeat part or all of the process
12) Eventually, find achievement
Bonus – Ultimately, gain some level of mastery

Under Construction

Throughout our lives we accept challenges without knowing the entirety of the involvement. The term, “fake it ’til you make it” is often used to describe this common practice. This is often a necessary step in achievement, as it is often impossible to gain sufficient knowledge without experience and we need to have experiences to gain knowledge.

As we mature, we gain a wide variety of experiences and we become more capable of predicting the outcomes of our efforts. Through various failures, we also learn our limitations. Some people are better at knowing their capabilities and limitations than others. Some people are delusional when it comes to their capabilities and limitations, which can make it very difficult for them to find achievement, especially within a process that is new to them. One of the solutions that they have for this is to not look for achievement.

The biggest fear should be when we know that we can do something but know nothing about what we need to do.

Share a great idea; include the original idea and the progression of ideas that led to the final result.
• Give examples of failures and the overcoming of obstacles.
• Describe methodologies.
• Cover strategies.
• When explaining something complex, attempt to simplify as much as possible.

When comparing Unconventional Experts with Traditional Establishment Experts, it is important to understands that the establishment establishes the requirements for mastery. The educational standards are set through post graduate work. The work environment sets standards through comparisons, from organization to organization. The work a CFO does, within a manufacture, will be very similar, from one manufacturer to the next. If a company is going public, the expertise from one company to the next can be published and shared. This is both an asset and a fault, as Traditional Establishment Experts who are exposed to anomalies, they will be more apt to grasp an established way of thinking; which may or may not provide the best path.

Unconventional Experts sit on the opposite side of this scenario. Their area of expertise might surround an anomaly that cannot be well addressed by a Traditional Establishment Expert. For example, an Unconventional Expert marketing person might be able to consistently and successfully market niche products to new markets. Onlookers might try to uncover the secret sauce in this ability. To this Unconventional Expert, there is an individual work-process that lives outside of Traditional Establishment Expert thought, but seems to find success, whenever put in motion.

As Unconventional Experts define themselves, they are defining three things:
1) Their individual work-process.
2) Their areas of expertise – as they exist outside of the establishment.
3) The level of their expertise – as compared to other experts.

The third point requires:
1) A certain kind of deep respect for all experts.
2) An appreciation of achievements, and a vague understanding of how one could possibly get there.
3) A realistic understanding of how much time and effort it takes to reach such levels of expertise, which facilitates the deep respect.

Watching a top magician perform an original sleight-of-hand card trick, one might ask themselves, could I learn that? In some cases, a talent is so deep, that only those who start at a certain age and commit their life’s work to it are qualified. What is the secret sauce to the trick? One doesn’t know, as magicians never show. it might be years of practice related to hand/eye coordination. It might be a strong technical understanding, that uses technology to facilitate the trick. As an onlooker of expert-level work, there will never be a clear picture of the road to achievement, but there needs to be an appreciation and a similar commitment.

Identify Unconventional Experts, Traditional Establishment Experts and those who might be both. Look deeply at their expert achievements and try to understand the level of commitment required to get there.

Exposure to expert:
Find groups of experts through forums.
Find a mentor.

Unconventional Expert Creed
No-one starts a journey as an expert. Within an individual, there needs to be a drive that gets them there. The concept behind Unconventional Experts is simply the recognition and definition of those who are, or are becoming experts, outside of the Traditional Establishment Expert education that usually leads to work within Traditional Establishment Expert positions.

The danger in using the word expert resides in the fact that it is often used as a title or achievement. When something is a title or achievement, there should be a standard that sets the bar. Within Traditional Establishment Expert professions and trades, there bar for expert-level and master-level work is more tangible. For Unconventional Experts, it is based on comparisons and the expert is the one who is responsible to compare.

The top priority for Unconventional Experts is to reach their fullest potential within their area of expertise. To do so, they need to know how far human potential can reach. If a self-proclaimed expert lives in a bubble and thinks that they are pushing the envelop of potential when they are only scratching the surface, they are not experts. While Unconventional Experts forge their own path, there is an additional component in bearing witness to similar experts and having a realistic understanding of what constitutes expertise.

The creed of the Unconventional Expert is not in what they know, but within what they don’t know. There is no award for being an Unconventional Expert and many unconventional achievements will go unnoticed, as they often stand outside of conventional thought.

The creed of the Unconventional Expert will be much like their individual work process. Feeding iIntellectual curiosity, initiating activity without hesitation, gaining relevant information, strategizing, commit to to work as a project, creating ideas, testing ideas, accepting failure as a part of the process, using failure as a platform for new and better ideas; eventually, finding some level of mastery.

Bearing witness
Above, we mentioned the importance of bearing witness, so that Unconventional Experts can face their expert-trek with honest insight as to the level of commitment required. Being delusional about ones strengths and weaknesses can be detrimental to a career, as well as a life. In CultureOfExperts.com, there is advice for leadership, for ways in which they can expose Unconventional Experts to each other, to share experiences. Without leadership help, Unconventional Experts still have the responsibility to reach out and communicate with other experts within their area of expertise.

NEW ……..

How one critiques someone else’s work can be very telling with regards to their understanding of failure and how it exists within a process. If the work belongs to an Unconventional Expert, the work might be produced to test an idea; which is one of the stages within their individual work-process. If the Unconventional Expert is testing an idea, they will be open to feedback, as it might add to the information they are trying to compile. If the feedback comes from someone who does not work within a complex process, the work will be misunderstood and the critique will be made out of context. To critique someone’s work, it helps to know where the work stands, within its creator’s process. 

NEW ……..

Not every unconventional project is a Cirque du Soleil act, however, watching a Cirque du Soleil is a great example of what can happen when an unconventional project fully follows unbridled creativity and exceptional talent. Most unconventional projects are not fully visible to onlookers, however, when there is an opportunity to witness one it is important to fully appreciate it for both the expert-level talent and commitment to the project. The time and effort involved needs to be inspirational and influential to one’s own expert-trek.

NEW ……..

Unconventional positions may require atypical knowledge
• Knowledge of the goods produced and/or services rendered.
• Knowledge of how the organization functions, creating goods and/or services.
• Knowledge of the entire industry.
• Knowledge of the sales channel and markets that sell the goods and/or services.
• Knowledge of customers.
• Knowledge of customer buying habits.
• Knowledge of customer use cases and satisfaction.

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Under Construction

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