Friday, 11 October 2019

10 Years Learning

If I do a job in 30 minutes, it’s because I spent 10 years learning how to do that job in 30 minutes.  You owe me for the years, not the minutes.

Knowledge is an intangible product, yet we need it to run our businesses and lives.

We think little of paying doctors, lawyers, accountants, engineers or other “professionals” for the results of their knowledge.  This is because we get some benefit from their activities: better health, advice on behaving properly, tax returns, machines that work, for example.  

We hesitate, however, to pay advisers or consultants.  Just as with doctors and the other professionals above, these people will often have spent years acquiring knowledge that can be applied.  Like a good car mechanic, they may provide a “simple fix” in terms of what’s needed, but it’s the knowledge acquired over all those years that allows them to provide that “simple fix”.  

I heard an amusing story about a factory whose machinery broke down, meaning that the factory couldn’t operate and earn money.  No one at the factory could fix the machinery, so in the end they called in someone who, after examining every inch of the machinery, turned a screw and restored production.

When asked for his bill, he presented one for $5,001.00.  One being asked for a breakdown of this seemingly “excessive” charge, he responded as follows:

Turning screw:
$       1.00
Knowing which screw to turn:

We need to remember that, if someone solves a problem that we can’t due to our lack of expertise, then we pay for the expertise that they’ve taken years to acquire.  If we don’t want to pay, then we need to acquire that knowledge ourselves and put in the time and effort involved.

I have spent more than half my life delivering change in different world markets from the most developed to “emerging” economies. With more than 20 years in international financial services around the world running different operations and lending businesses, I started my own Consultancy to provide solutions for improving performance, productivity and risk management.  I work with individuals, small businesses, charities, quoted companies and academic institutions across the world. An international speaker, trainer, author and fund-raiser, I can be contacted by email. My website  provides a full picture of my portfolio of services.  For strategic questions that you should be asking yourself, follow me at @wkm610.

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