Where have all the experts gone?

Posted in: Club Newsletter, Featured, In The News, Reflections Articles

Where have all the experts gone?
by Emily Lang

After 11 years in business, my partner and I hired a business consultant to help guide our firm through the next evolution of our company. On weekly calls, we talk through business processes in broad terms and specific pain points in a way that’s honest and constructive. The conversations have been informative and, on some days, downright inspirational. I’ve wondered why we didn’t do this sooner.

Seeking expert advice really shouldn’t be a last resort. If we’re smart, we do it often.

In the age of social media, people sometimes do it in the public square. Log in to Facebook to find questions posed on timelines and public groups regarding everything from what to wear to medical advice for pets and people alike.

“How many C-sections is too many for a dachshund?” (Two.)

“Should I get a covid shot if I’m pregnant?” (Yes, and no, I am not.)

“Has anyone tried Ma Der and is it good?” (No, but it’s on my list.)

The thing about crowdsourcing advice on social media is that while you’ll probably get a plethora of answers to life’s questions, you may not receive answers from actual experts. That type of advice requires a more targeted approach.

Have a medical question? Ask a doctor.

A legal one? A lawyer.

A food one? Facebook is probably just fine for that, unless you’re cooking something, in which case you can do what I do, and ask your mom.

As the owner of a strategic communications firm, social media is part of my job. It can be a fun way to connect with old friends and encourage people you may not see in person.

But social media can also be a source of unearned overconfidence, as we crowdsource the wrong things. Perhaps we’d all be better off seeking the experts among us when we need answers. On any given Tuesday, we can enjoy lunch amidst doctors and lawyers; teachers and nonprofit leaders; IT consultants and world class musicians. In addition to being generally willing to share their expertise, our fellow Rotarians can offer something social media simply cannot: a handshake and, when needed, a hug.

Now, has anyone tried Ma Der?

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