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4 Ways to Make Yourself an Expert with Superior Knowledge


Managers in all organizations, large and small, say they depend on people with “superior knowledge” of their business and expertise, built up over time and through experience. Learn how to acquire this “superior knowledge” yourself and become a great expert.

Make Yourself an Expert – Harvard Business Review

An executive at a top 100 Best Companies to Work For 2013 company said of great project leaders, “I don’t know what we’d do without them! said. In more than 100 interviews conducted as part of our research on knowledge use and sharing, similar statements were made about many great experts.

The “good knowledge” that these experts have is not something that everyone has, but something that comes from a number of experiences, a know-how of how to think, decide, and act in a way that leads to success. Since these are based on experience, it takes a long time for “good knowledge” to mature.

This “good knowledge” comes from consciously thinking about and learning from how the experts in your organization work within your organization. The product mindset and knowledge experience of an expert with “superior knowledge” can be broken down into elements such as “behavior” and “knowledge.

However, in today’s competitive world, this model alone is not sufficient. One reason is that experts have never articulated “good knowledge,” such as how to lead on their own projects, because they recognize patterns of success from their own past experiences and successful solutions. The second reason is that the expert’s colleagues were accustomed to having the expert claim “superior knowledge. This means that you need to learn how to extract “good knowledge” from the experts.

You need the right system to get the “good knowledge” out of the experts, and that system is OPPTY. OPPTY is a framework consisting of Observation, Practice, Partnering and joint problem solving, and Taking responsibility.

◆Observation: Observation

Observation involves following experts and systematically analyzing how they work.

◆Practice: Execution

Execution is the process of identifying expert-specific behaviors and tasks, actually performing them, and getting feedback from the expert.

Partnering and joint problem solving

This partnering and joint problem solving involves actively working with the expert to analyze the challenges and results of the Practice.

◆Taking Responsibility

Once you have achieved this point, you can then take over the role of taking responsibility and own the “good knowledge” you have drawn from the expert.

Even with sophisticated applied engineering for data collection and analysis, we still rely heavily on the “good knowledge” of others in many situations, and these can still be learned from many experts.

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