September 18

The Smartest People in the Room aren’t up here on stage

“The smartest people in the room aren’t up here on stage”.

That’s a quote from a mate of mine Troy Hazard – a serial entrepreneur and now professional speaker ( And this morning I can’t help but think how true that is. (Not that I often doubt what Troy says).

I’ve been working on our 2014 plans over the past few weeks and using our friends at Google to find resources, research ideas, and generally put our strategy and plans together.

But along the way, I’ve been getting stuck. Concepts I don’t understand. Functions in our software or internal systems I just don’t get. Tools or planning guides I need to help.

Instead of turning to professionals or consultants to get assistance, I’ve been turning to the people around me. My LinkedIn Groups. My Mastermind Groups. My mentor and peer groups. And when I can’t get the help I need from my groups, public forums and chat sites.

And here’s the rub. The information I’m getting is better than most consultants or professionals I’ve engaged over the past few years.

Now that’s no disrespect to the professionals, they’ve all been great. Experts in their fields and completely competent. Normally I would have called them first. I just figured they’re all off enjoying the Christmas break, so I went to my network direct.

And what I’ve realised is that the peer – peer experience seems to have more relevance, is closer to the topic and information and help is readily available (not to mention its free). Its also “just in time”. Right when I need it.

Plus learning what other people have done/implemented, or planning to do has added an enormous amount of value to my planning and thought process.

This realisation this morning reinforces my view that learning has evolved and employers and trainers need to re-evaluate the way we deliver information – because the smartest people in the room are no longer on the stage.

What do you think?

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