A Whole New World

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    This episode: How to change your surroundings for some fresh ideas, plus thoughts about expertise, and how organizations should rethink employee readiness.

    The Experts in the Room

    Talking about a change of scene, I’m lucky enough to be writing this newsletter at Blackwell’s bookshop in Oxford, England. Oxford is a fascinating place in many ways – not least because of the amount of deep expertise that resides here. Oxford may have the highest proportion of Nobel Laureates per square mile you will ever encounter, and many of them are prone to hanging out in coffee shops or pubs.

    Expertise often gets a bad rap these days, but it probably shouldn’t. After all, if you like easily accessing food, being sheltered by buildings, traveling, listening to music or watching movies, you are relying on the deep expertise of others.

    I believe we will continue to need human expertise for some significant time left. We have a huge way to go before IT systems can reliably replicate the type of insight generated by human’s unique blend of analysis and intuition.

    That said, I think we need to transform the way we think about expertise. There are three challenges we need to overcome.

    1) We need to get better at identifying true expertise, even when we do not have it ourselves. As misinformation spreads, expert opinion is consistently getting drowned out by…opinion. That may seem like healthy debate, but in many cases, it’s making ourselves and our societies less stable.

    2) We need to get better at distinguishing expert opinion from the person delivering it. Sam Altman is not an expert on burnout. Elon Musk is not an expert on remote work. In reality, no human is an expert on everything, and very few of us are experts on nothing.

    3) We need to get better at combining deep expertise in different fields to help us solve some of our larger problems. We should get better at creating multidisciplinary teams, that combine subject matter experts, great generalists and technology like AI to achieve genuine breakthroughs.

    Technology can help in all these areas, and that’s what I’d love many technology companies to focus on in the next decade. Help us as a society gain from the deep work done by experts around the world and connect it together so that we can continue to move forward.


    The Employer Lens

    I’m lucky enough to hang out with my co-founder Ryan Tubbs most days, but not so often on my podcast! But he’s been doing some really interesting work lately – looking at the role companies need to play to ensure that their employees are ready for the future of work.

    We had a great chat about the topic for our Humanity Working podcast, which as usual you can hear on your favourite podcasting platform, or watch the video of it below.

    New Places, New Ideas

    Video Length: 1 min 59 seconds

    Over the last couple of years, we’ve spent quite a bit of time researching the very helpful role that routines can play in improving our day-to-day effectiveness. Humans we are creatures of habit, and creating healthy habits can be very good for us.

    But changing things up can also play an important role, particularly for problem solving. This week, my animated twin looks at how a change to your surroundings can spark innovative thought, and make the seemingly unsolvable, solvable.

    About Us

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