What are enterprise skills, and why are they important for technical experts?
Summary: Far more than the ‘soft skills’ you hear people talking about, enterprise skills make all the difference when it comes to subject matter experts delivering high performance and breakthrough value-add. Combined with their technical skills, they enable experts to fulfil their potential and make a big difference to their organization, their customers, and the wider world.
Written by Dominic Johnson 25 Mar 2022

Image credit: Adobe stock

Technical experts represent a specialised field of knowledge. Often, in their “development” to date, they have simply acquired more know-how and skills specific to that rarefied professional field.

But if experts are to actually “represent” that field to others in the organisation – and broader stakeholders – they need to complement those areas of specialist knowledge with some vital additional skills.

These skills include:

  • interpersonal skills

  • collaboration/teaming skills;

  • stakeholder engagement and influencing skills;

  • prioritization and time management skills;

  • political savvy (and diplomacy);

  • emotional intelligence and trust-building skills

  • presentation skills; and

  • advanced networking skills.

Experts additionally need to become masters of:

  • the organizational context;
  • a strong grasp of the organizational strategy;
  • familiarity with customer data;
  • understanding the competitive landscape; and
  • a clear sense of how and where they can create quantifiable value.

Collectively we refer to these complementary competencies as Enterprise Skills.

Without them – or if they are insufficiently developed or exercised – experts can find themselves marginalised, seen as irrelevant, lacking the influence their field deserves, abstract and obtuse, disconnected, or simply hard to work with.

But when those skills are developed and exercised, experts can gain relevance by skilful networking and stakeholder engagement, pitch compelling business ideas that align with strategy, focus on delivering with impact, have a seat at the top table – and a key voice in the organisation’s direction setting.

How are these capabilities developed? This is exactly why we have developed the Mastering Expertship program along with key resources such as the Expertship Growth Guide which provides tools, frameworks, and strategies for progressively developing these capabilities as mapped out on the Expertship Model.

So, in summary, what are these capabilities, and what are the specific payoffs for experts mastering each one, and the consequences for experts who don’t have these skills?

The five key capabilities are:

  • Collaboration and Teaming
  • Stakeholder Engagement and Influencing
  • Prioritization and Time Management
  • Political Savvy and Diplomacy
  • Strategic Acumen and Market Context

Below, you can download a more detailed summary.

For a free, obligation free briefing on these enterprise skills, and how to develop them in your technical experts, please contact us. You can download a more detail explanation from the form below.

Additional resources

Expertunity has developed a range of resources that help managers of experts, and the experts themselves, accelerate the development of these skills. We run highly rated programs: [Mastering Expertship] https://portal.expertunity.global/mastering_expertship) and Leader of Experts. We have also published the book Master Expert and developed a capability model that explains these skills in far more detail (The Expertship Model).

We also offer organisations consulting services to help them build their own effective interventions. Please contact us.

Further reading:

Download Mastering Expertship prospectus