Monday, April 13, 2015

What Makes An Expert? Glad You Asked...

On my TV, it’s usually shows like ESPN, The Weather Channel, HGTV, Discovery Channel and WGN, if the Cubs are playing.  Well, that was until my two college sons came home this summer and now it’s more like Swamp People, Storage Wars, Ball Boys and Pawn Stars, at least when they’re home. 

One of the things that fascinates me is when an item is brought in for sale and nobody really knows what it’s worth…..until, they call in an expert.
Really, what or who is an expert on anything?  Generally defined, an expert is a person with extensive knowledge or ability based on research, experience or occupation in a particular field or area of study. Having prolonged and intense experience through practice and education, the expert judges and decides rightly, justly or wisely.

Okay, I suppose it’s hard to argue with that, but can that “extensive knowledge and prolonged & intense experience be quantified? According to Malcolm Gladwell’s essay, “Outliers,” it can be.  You may remember those three words that every baseball coach and piano teacher recited, “practice, practice, practice.”  Gladwell agrees.  In fact, he suggests it takes 10,000 hours of practice to make an expert.

When it comes to your accountancy reports, your healthcare records, and your retirement investments, don’t you want the best you can get, the expert?  I do too.  And, don’t you also want these experts, who are in possession of your most sensitive information, to partner with another expert when the time comes for the professional and competent destruction of those documents?  That day will come and for thousands of our customers, that is who Integra is and that is what we do.  A full service document destruction company, like Integra, will offer plant-based offsite service, truck-based onsite service and walk-in services and we have for almost 25 years now.

I could suggest, and Gladwell might agree, that we certainly have put the time in to designate us as an expert.  In John MacArthur’s book, Twelve Ordinary Men, he writes, “Knowledge is power. Whoever has the information has the lead.  If you want to find a leader, look for someone who is asking the right questions and genuinely looking for answers.”  That’s what experts do, they lead, they’re inquisitive, they take initiative, and they’re involved. For example, consider these questions we may ask. 

Are you a customer who has a one-time purge of documents that you’ve retained long enough and have simply run out of room?  How many and what size boxes do you have or are the documents in file cabinets?  Are they on the ground floor, an upper level or in the basement?  Do you prefer onsite or offsite service and are you working on a timeframe?”  Maybe it’s ongoing, routed service that you need.  We will help you with the right type and number of containers, such as carts and consoles.  How about your frequency needs, your billing options, your hours of operation?  Perhaps you want to know more about who we are, the customers we have in your line of business, our commitment to the environment, sustainability, technology and best practice security standards.  Maybe you need to know how to handle your hard drives and electronic media storage devices. You have questions, and you should; we should have answers, and we do.

I once heard that the wise man is not the one who must know all there is to know about everything, but the man who can find the one who has the answers he seeks.  That, we call the expert…..that’s Integra!

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