Activity: Talk or presentation types › Invited talk
Having developed a conceptual model of knowledge levels, I became particularly interested in people who are arguably at the highest level of knowledge, which I term ‘grandmaster’, borrowing the expression form chess. In the subsequent study, I have interviewed 20 top scientists, including 17 Nobel Laureates, while my then PhD student Marc Stierand has interviewed 18 of the best chefs in the world. From this I have learned a great deal about the nature of expertise. In my talk I will explore how grandmasters think and how one may become a grandmaster through a master-apprentice relationship. Sorry everyone: there is no shortcut to the highest level of expertise. The difficult part is figuring out the scope of the expertise, that is, its domain of validity. Although the problem of validity is one of the toughest problems of academic research, as managers we do this all the time: for every single decision we need to decide whether the particular knowledge works for that decision or not. I will show the process of validation in three steps: consistency, relevance, and applicability. The most im-portant lesson from the process is that it is always the most knowledgeable person who should validate, which is particularly significant in our globalised (3.0) world of business, as the most knowledgeable people will not be those sitting in the headquarters but the people in the field embedded in the context ‘here and now’. This is what Charles Handy calls the principle of subsidiarity.