Have you ever done that annoying exercise where you have to instruct someone else how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich using only words? It’s a reliable way to frustrate people. Okay, so that’s not the actual point of the exercise. But you already know the point of the experiment here: no one successfully communicates to the other person all the necessary information to successfully complete a seemingly simple action. How can you improve your game? Simple: by hiring experts.
LISTEN TO SEASON 2: EPISODE 2
The Curse of Knowledge
In our last blog, we talked about hiring an expert to help with growth because of the Dunning Krueger effect: when you don’t know what you don’t know.
There’s an opposite cognitive bias known as The Curse of Knowledge. This is where we can’t see what we already know and unknowingly assume that others have the background to understand. And the peanut butter and jelly exercise is a terrific illustration of the Curse of Knowledge at work. What? Why would I have to tell you to open the loaf of bread??
So… sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know and other times we don’t know what we already know. Wow… isn’t the human brain weird?
I’m sure you’ve been here: the place we really feel and see the Curse of Knowledge is when it comes to expanding our teams and improving our capabilities. Much like the peanut butter and jelly exercise, we tend to skip over parts or completely forget resources and context necessary to delegate or complete tasks.
How to Improve Your Game
Experts can help when improvement is needed because they have the outside perspective and can more clearly see the steps and context for tasks and systems. Plus, they usually have a system to evaluate and improve the system (it’s very meta).
Hiring experts can help you improve your game in these 4 key areas:
1. Remove bottlenecks
When only a few people can do something, this creates serious issues for expanding capacity or even improving processes.
2. Expand capacity with more ease
Increasing output doesn’t have to be a struggle. And if your team expansion is relying on finding and hiring a “unicorn,” that’s not a predictable or repeatable way to grow.
3. Track outcomes without micromanaging
No one looks forward to talking about what’s not working, especially if there’s no actual data so it turns into a debate of opinions about if someone is doing their job.
A better-informed team is a better performing team. Improvement accelerates when everyone can participate in making great decisions.
Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Expert to Improve Your Game
When hiring an expert to help your organization improve your game, here are the key questions to ask BEFORE you start searching for who to hire:
What specific things are you struggling with?
Where are the consistent failure or frustration points? It is helpful to have each person on your team answer this because—yes, you guessed it—you might have the Curse of Knowledge.
What is the outcome you want?
When working on improvement, it is usually a combination of systems or processes and team skills. To achieve a sustainable improvement, you likely are going to want both an improved process and team skillset to execute the process. Getting a perfect process and a sandwich maker that doesn’t know how to use a knife isn’t going to result in the sandwich you’re expecting.
Do you need a leader or an implementer or both?
Much like when you are growing, to improve your game means needing time and resources for strategic thinking. What can the internal team take on?
Keep Moving Forward—with the Right Knowledge
Embracing the fact that the Curse of Knowledge exists will help you seek out blind spots in your processes, build systems to help smooth information flow, and give yourself a break when it is super frustrating to achieve that improvement for which you are striving.
Just remember that even a group of highly trained project managers still struggles with the peanut butter and jelly exercise. Well, at least that makes me feel better.
Hiring the right expert to tackle improvement not only gets you the tangible advancement, but also overcomes the lack of internal resources and time to focus on completing improvements.
Using external experts also helps speed up the process so you can experience the results of the improvements because they were fully implemented (and didn’t get deprioritized when they were partially complete).
Get the Help You Need to Improve Your Game
Are you all fired up to start working through those improvements you’ve been wishing for? I hope so, and I hope you now have a few more specific ways you can leverage expert resources to get them done.
You might have had your so-so sandwich making manual for a while and it works, mostly. But a little bit of training beforehand, a few tweaks to the manual, and some quality markers on the output could really improve the experience of the sandwich eaters and the sandwich makers.
We’re all capable of mastering the peanut butter and jelly exercise with enough tries. But it’s frustrating, takes a lot of time, and the end result isn’t always the most efficient and effective system. If you want improvement, hire an expert. At FieryFX, we’re experts in websites, analytics, smart business, and technology. Plus, we know a thing or two about getting the most from working with experts. Get the improvement you want faster by booking a consult with us.