February 19, 2018

The edge of expertise

Business People in a Board meetingWe tend to be most comfortable working in the centre ground of our expertise—where we’re really pretty sure of our ground.


That may not be what’s most useful to people, or to us. That may not be where we make the most difference, or learnt the most.

Often, other people want our help at the edge of their expertise and that’s likely to take us away from where we’re totally sure. Nevertheless, our insights, even if they’re tentative, may help them a lot.

Inklings at the edge of our expertise could be more valuable than certainty in the middle.

Sometimes, the more uncomfortable we are, the more useful our contribution is.

Maybe you need to go the edge more.

As Neale Donald Walsh said, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

You can’t evidence an inkling

Woman reflectingThat’s the point. If you could evidence it, then it wouldn’t be an inkling. It’d be a fact, or at least a strong hypothesis.

Many organisations only want to act on facts. They ask their people to prove their inklings; to make a head-space thing out of an inner knowing.

They can’t do that of course because inklings aren’t facts. Not today. Tomorrow maybe, but not today. And so the opportunity is lost.

Inklings are valuable. They point to the future. Some of them do anyway. So you need to know which ones. In fact, you need inklings about inklings. That’s if you want to lead the field anyway.

The question is…

Are you brave enough to back an inkling?

Like Steve Jobs with the iPhone.

Oh and how strong is your inkling muscle?

What do you think? Can you prove an inkling?