Yesterday I participated in a PKM chat on the limits of best practices. This was my “ah-ha”


I said this because I believe the value in “best practices” are found when you use them as guideposts for learning and adjust them to meet your needs. This is where working out loud is critical. It is how you adjust them, make them your own, and give back to the world for what it has given you.

This is not however my biggest takeaway from this chat.  All the talk about best practices got me thinking about the nature of expertise and if there really are experts.

It used to be that there were only a few experts producing best practices.  They were easy to find but this really isn’t the case anymore (see Harold Jarche’s article on Who are the experts? for more info on this).

With people working out loud and practicing personal knowledge management we are creating and sharing our best practices.  Does this in essence make us all experts?

I think so.  It’s not that I don’t believe in expertise it’s just that the nature of expertise has changed for me. There are people whom I do consider experts  Jonathon Anthony, Harold Jarche, Julian Stodd and John Stepper are high on my list but it’s not because of what they know.  It’s because they have taught me the opposite:  It’s what you give. It’s being open to feedback.  It’s asking for help. It’s accepting and encouraging the growth of your ideals and concepts.  This to me is a sign of true expertise.

What does expertise me to you?