The Future of Expertise
Once upon a time knowing how to put together a beautiful presentation, use and create spreadsheets, stay connected to your inbox, and design basic web sites and applications were all considered specialized skills, but they were never a requirement for most employees.
Now, most people in the interactive industry are expected to have most of these skills. And it won’t be long before this is expected of people working in all industries. The future standard of expertise will be five times, no, fifty times higher than what it is. That is the nature of progress.
And while It’s currently possible to squeak out a living just by knowing what to talk about—consider all the self-proclaimed "social media experts" that have popped up in the last two years—the reality is that unless your creating true value for your clients you won't last very long.
I had an interesting dialogue with Chris Bailey about how we define worth and value. The outcome of the conversation was that the value of an employee is what he produces for the company, but the worth of an employee is what you pay him. These don’t always match up. The same holds true with agencies. Their worth and value won't always match up.
And as formerly specialized skillsets becomes more commonplace in the workforce, creating true value for your clients will be the only way to truly thrive in the coming years. This current realignment (AKA recession) is already bringing this fact in to focus. The question is no longer what do you know, but do you create value.
Knowing what to talk about is no longer enough.