Expertise—how to identify, capture, cultivate and put it to work—is a core strategy for organisational success. From hiring people with the right expertise to developing future experts, having the right people available to work on the right tasks is a core tenet of translating organisational strategy into practice. The right people create a groundswell of effort to push forward; the wrong people counteract progress, anchoring the organisation to a place it doesn’t want to be any more.
Understanding expertise and its profiling touches on the core of knowledge management, a topic which has been in and out of vogue for a couple of decades. There are some new and emerging approaches in the field that provide possibilities for finally addressing the challenges of knowledge management, including automated profiling of expertise and crowdsourced approaches for finding solutions. Regardless, this is a difficult, challenging—and yet deeply fascinating—topic.